During the state visit in Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping were special guests at a football match between a Chinese and a German U-12 team at the Auf Dem Wurfplatz stadium.
DFL president Dr. Reinhard Rauball, DFL CEO Christian Seifert, DFB president Reinhard Grindel, DFB secretary general Dr. Friedrich Curtius, head coach Joachim Löw and national team manager Oliver Bierhoff made use of the opportunity to brief the two guests on the current status of the various joint German-Chinese football projects.
The U-12 match forms part of a football camp that is being organised under the agreement signed last November. The parties to this broad-based partnership are the German federal government, the Chinese government, the Chinese Football Association, the Chinese Ministry of Education, DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) and Deutsche Fußball-Bund (DFB).
DFB president Reinhard Grindel said: „The interest expressed by Angela Merkel and Xi Jinping shows once more the two governments’ strong commitment to our partnership. It is not only able to contribute to the development of Chinese football but also exert a positive effect on German football in its entirety. In addition, we would be pleased if football were to help bring people in Germany and China even closer together off the pitch in this way.“
DFL president Dr. Reinhard Rauball said: „The fact that the world’s most populous nation and the country with the largest number of football members forged a top-level partnership last year was something special, perhaps even showing the way forward. Today’s meeting testifies once more to the high importance of this partnership.“
The partnership aims to ensure continuous and mutual sharing between the two countries. In this connection, extensive activities are planned to support the development of football in China. Dr. Friedrich Curtius explained: „Over the last few months, we have been developing a concept called the ‚5-Star-Alliance‘. The five stars represent the five elements on which the partnership is based: coach training, young talent development, competition organisation, football culture in practice and, finally, the overall development, in other words the attempt to bring the previous four aspects into line with each other.“
DFL CEO Christian Seifert said: „At the beginning of June, the partnership enjoyed a real highlight at the first Chinese-German Football Summit in Frankfurt, which was attended by 200 representatives from associations and clubs from both countries. We now want to expand these relations steadily on an operating level to a greater extent.“
The training camp for the U-12 teams in Berlin that DFB organised in conjunction with the Chinese ministry of education and with the support of adidas for two teams from China is an example of the type of collaboration being sought for young talent development and coach training.