China plans for 50,000 football academies by 2025
China's football association is planning for the country to have 50,000 football academies by 2025 as part of an ambitious blueprint to grow into a soccer superpower.
The announcement from association Vice President Wang Dengfeng more than doubles the earlier target of 20,000 academies by 2020.
Wang was quoted by state media on Wednesday as saying that each school would be able to train 1,000 young players on average, fulfilling the goal laid out in a plan announced last April of having 50 million competent players.
Despite China's limited success in football's top-tier, President Xi Jinping has made boosting the country's fortunes in the sport a national priority. Plans call for qualifying for the World Cup, hosting the sport's marquee event and eventually winning the title.