China plans to appoint a number of primary and middle schools as specialist football academies and offer them extra funding and policy support, the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced on March 16.
Entire academic jurisdictions will be able to apply for similar treatment if over 60 percent of their schools have high-quality football training facilities, the MOE said.
The performance of those schools and districts will also be used to evaluate local education departments.
After decades of prioritizing academic performance, China wants its schools to offer more and better P.E. lessons, particularly in football.
In January, the MOE set the target of having 20,000 primary or middle schools specializing in football by 2017.
(Xinhua News Agency March 16, 2016)