China have potential to be a footballing superpower, says top coach Tom Byer
Last Updated: 23/09/16 1:19pm
China have the potential to become a superpower by 2050 in the world of football, a top coach has told Sky Sports News HQ.
China unveiled a strategy in April to become a "world football superpower" within 34 years with an added ambition of attracting 50 million children and adults playing the game by 2020.
They also expressed their desire to have over 20,000 football training centres and 70,000 pitches in place by 2020.
Its plans were published by the Chinese Football Association with the country's president Xi Jinping a huge football fan.
Tom Byer, a football coach who spent 20 years helping to develop grass roots football in Japan, is now being employed in China working on an extensive educational programme after compulsory football was introduced in schools.
American Byer told SSNHQ: "I'm working on a TV series for CETV that will be three minutes long and it will be on every morning and will appear 365 days consecutively. The idea is to empower the kids."
Asked about the grand Chinese ambitions, Byer added: "It has the potential. I wrote a book recently focusing on children aged under six and China has over 100 million children under that age.
"They are the future and one of our programmes focuses on educating parents of these very small children."
Sky Sports recently secured the rights for the next three seasons to show the Chinese Super League showcasing many former Premier League stars such as Ramires, Obafemi Martins, Gervinho and Graziano Pelle.
Watch the video above to find out more about the growth of football in China....