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14 March 2018 | in Football, FISU University World Cup Football

Looking to deliver the ultimate in athlete experience, inspection team visits Jinjiang for FISU University World Cup – Football

The FISU-led delegation was in Jinjiang (CHN) for a three-day inspection visit evaluating the city's sports venues and hotels

 

JINJIANG, CHINA – Staying at the forefront of the sports world takes a fresh blend of enduring benefits for a host that also keeps the athlete experience at the core of the event.

 

When FISU launched the World University League concept with 3x3 Basketball in 2016, it was immediately apparent that this event resonated with university student-athletes around the globe. Perhaps this shouldn’t come as a surprise as putting on your university team jersey and competing with your classmates as teammates is an experience that cannot be found anywhere else in sports.

 It was all thumbs up in the 'City of Sports.' The economic engine of Jinjiang is driven by sports, with 9,110 sports related enterprises in the area including one FISU Partner, the fitness clothing brand Qiaodan.

Seeing the international University Sports Movement hit pay dirt with 3x3 Basketball, Jinjiang city leaders and FISU soon began talks about expanding this event property with university football as the nexus to the economic and cultural heart of Fujian Province.

 

In February, the FISU University World Cup – Football was officially presented. This past week, FISU was back in Jinjiang for an inspection visit to see how preparations were coming along as the city prepares to host a 24 team final in 2019, with continental qualifying tournaments for next year’s event getting underway this year.

Vice Mayor of Jinjiang Municipal People’s Government Wang Heifei and others inspecting the growing number of sports facilities in Jinjiang, a city of 3 million people 

Leading the inspection visit was FISU World University Championships and World University Leagues Director, Paulo Ferreira. He was accompanied by FISU Sport Coordinator Pauline Hamonic, and FISU’s two Football Technical Committee Chairs, Andrey Vlasov and Mazzarello Sweeney, as the quartet made their three-day working visit from 9-11 March.

 FISU Director Paulo Ferreira with Jinjiang Party Secretary, Liu Wenru

All told, Jinjiang will host four consecutive editions of FISU University World Cup – Football finals in alternating years from 2019 to 2025. During the years between, university teams will qualify for the right to represent their continents through regional tournaments.

 

In addition, the budding sports hub of Jinjiang will host the FISU University Asian Cup 2018, 2020, 2022 and 2024. The biennial event, as the qualifying tournament of the FISU University World Cup - Football, means the city has placed itself as the centre of attention in the world of university football.

 

Looking to deliver the best possible athlete experience, FISU’s main objective during its first inspection visit since the official public launch of the project was evaluating the venues and hotels which will be used at the event. With quite compact agenda, the FISU team and members from FISU’s China Member Federation, FUSC, inspected seven football pitches (13 pitches will be used during the event; four for competition and nine for training), and four 5-star hotels ready to play home for athletes, coaches, technical representatives and FISU officials.

 The FISU contingent quartet of Paulo Ferreira, Pauline Hamonic, Andrey Vlasov and Mazzarello Sweeney in Jinjiang

To distill the findings from the three days, the two FISU Football Technical Committee Chairs, Mr. Vlasov and Mrs. Sweeney, led a feedback and evaluation meeting. Of particular importance during the meetings was the confirmation of the specified construction and renovation time frames for all venues and fields that will be put to use during the 2019 event. The event organisers were open to hearing technical advice, but already the preparations were well underway and on a very positive track.

 Andrey Vlasov with the Mayor of Jinjiang, Zhang Wenxian

Mr. Ferreira and Mrs. Hamonic stressed the compulsory demands referring to the team reception. The Vice Mayor of Jinjiang Municipal People’s Government, Wang Haifei, participated the whole activity as the Party Secretary, Liu Wenru, met the delegation for a formal meeting. Jinjiang Mayor Zhang Wenxian attended the feedback session.

 

The Jinjiang organisers spoke passionately about what hosting the FISU World University World Cup – Football means to both the city and country, and why it sought out being the home of this event.

“The future of football development in China is going to be built on youth football,” FUSC President Tian Xuejun said at the event launch. “Therefore we have to start with our youth football programmes that take place on campus.”