Tuesday 16 July 2019

The Premier League Asia Trophy has returned to mainland China for the first time in a decade, with Manchester City, Newcastle United, West Ham United and Wolverhampton Wanderers taking part in matches in Nanjing on 17 July and Shanghai on 20 July. 

The event will not only see elite athletes competing, but will also extend to local communities with a Premier Skills Under-12 Tournament taking place in Nanjing on 16 July, before the main tournament kicks-off.

Premier Skills is a partnership between the British Council and the Premier League, which uses football as a tool to develop a brighter future for young people around the world.

The Premier Skills Under-12 Cup will see four school teams comprising of girls and boys from Shanghai and Jiangsu, compete to win the opportunity to train and play with Premier League youth sides in the UK in the coming year. 

The tournament, which will take place at the Nanjing University of Aeronautices and Astronautics, is jointly organised by the British Council, the Premier League, the Federation of University Sports of China (FUSC), the China School Sports Federation (CSSF), and is supported by the National Youth Campus Football Work Leading Group Office.

Each school team will represent one of the Premier League clubs competing in the Premier League Asia Trophy, with a club coach from each team assigned to them to provide a warm up session, support and mentoring. Chinese coach educators and Chinese referees trained through the Premier Skills programme will also assist the Under-12 teams involved in the tournament, whilst Premier League match officials will support and mentor the referees. 

Premier Skills has helped young people – boys and girls alike – to develop critical soft skills like leadership, creativity and confidence, which they will take with them throughout their lives. 

Jazreel Goh, Director of Education and Sport at the British Council in China, said: “Since 2009, when it first launched in China, Premier Skills has achieved huge impact, with training held across 25 Chinese cities. By 2020, we aim to train 5,000 coaches and referees in China, benefitting an estimated 5 million children and young people.  Through this long-term commitment, we hope that Premier Skills will make a lasting contribution to growing grassroots football in China.”

Premier League Interim Chief Executive Richard Masters said: “The Premier League Asia Trophy 2019 not only offers fans in China the chance to watch four quality Premier League teams playing in two different cities, it also gives us the opportunity to reinforce our commitment to developing football in the country.  

“Through the Premier Skills Under-12 tournament, local children from Nanjing will be able to learn a huge amount from Premier League coaches and I am sure they will be inspired by meeting players from two of our participating clubs.”

Barclays are providing all players and coaches involved in the Premier Skills U12 Tournament with tickets to the Premier League Asia Trophy matches in Nanjing, giving them the opportunity to enjoy the Premier League experience firsthand and see a world-class line-up of players and managers. 

Notes to Editor

About the Premier League 

The Premier League produces some of the most competitive and compelling football in the world. The League and its clubs use the power and popularity of the competition to inspire fans, communities, and partners in the UK and across the world. The Premier League brings people together from all backgrounds.  It is a competition for everyone, everywhere and is available to watch in 1 billion homes in 188 countries.

About Premier Skills China

Premier Skills is a partnership between the Premier League and the British Council which uses football as a tool to engage with young people around the world. Since launching in China in 2009, the programme has trained more than 2,500 football coaches across 25 cities in China and directly reached more than 1.3 million young people in the country

Nanjing and Shanghai are an area of integration of the Yangtze Delta Region which places emphasis on greater sporting, cultural, economic and social exchanges.

About Premier Skills

Premier Skills is a partnership between the Premier League and the British Council which uses football as a tool to develop a brighter future for young people around the world.

It draws upon the Premier League’s global appeal and expertise in delivering community programmes in the UK, alongside the British Council’s global network, track record of delivery and world class expertise in English. 

Premier Skills is a proven model, influencing institutional approaches to social action through football as well as providing direct training to coaches and referees.

Since Premier Skills began in 2007, 25,001 coaches and referees have been trained in 29 countries, who in turn have reached over 1.7 (1,762,725) million young people. 

For more on Premier Skills visit www.britishcouncil.org/society/sport/current-programmes/premier-skills.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. Using the UK’s cultural resources, we make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications.

We operate as the Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy in Beijing and Cultural and Education Section of the British Consulate-General in Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chongqing. Our Exams work across China operates as a Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise.