Qingdao Sino-German Ecopark and FC Bayern Munich signed an agreement in Berlin to set up the first FC Bayern Munich soccer school in China, a move aimed at helping develop football at the popular and school levels, riding on increasingly strong interest in China's football industry.
The football school, powered by Bayern Munich's youth football training system, will be constructed in the Ecopark, which will house football fields and facilities for training. The deal will see a comprehensive football training system from Germany implanted into China.
Under the agreement, FC Bayern Munich, champions in German Bundesliga for the last four years and currently lying first, will send qualified coaches and trainers to China every year to help the development of Chinese football managers and young players.
"Football is an important part of German culture. Sino-German Ecopark plays a critical role in strengthening football culture collaborations of two nations. The partnership with FC Bayern Munich shows two countries can find opportunities to work together in the tide of football innovation and reform," said Wang Duo, CEO of Sino-German United Group, which manages the Ecopark.
Bayern football club spokesperson Joerg Wacker, was upbeat about Qingdao government's commitment to youth football training, saying "Qingdao has a longstanding connection with Germany, and I hope this collaboration will help to improve the quality of Qingdao football as a whole."
China's ambassador to Germany, Shi Mingde, who witnessed the signing, said the partnership demonstrates great potential and broad prospects for both sides to cultivate football development as well as to promote football economy in China.
Under the agreement, promising young Chinese football players at the +FC Bayern Munich soccer school in Qingdao will have the opportunity to receive training sessions from professional coaches in Munich. The club will also take highly talented young Chinese players into their youth academy, as well as receive coaching staff from China for training sessions. The new venture is not the first of its kind on China from Germany.
As part of the partnership for innovation campaign, in 2014 German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang agreed to cooperate in providing training for football coaches, referees and junior footballers.
In September 2015, Sino-German Ecopark partnered with the German Football Association and German Corporation for International Cooperation to establish a football training base in Qingdao.
In a bid to build up a stronger network in China, FC Bayern announced the opening of their second international office in Shanghai this September.