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China to introduce soccer textbooks to schools

Updated: 2015-03-11 14:03

China to introduce soccer textbooks to schools

(From left to right) Spanish soccer star Michel Salgado, Italian soccer stars Marco Materazzi and Alessandro Nesta pose for a group photo with young players and officials during a teenager soccer trainning program in Beijing, Feb 3, 2015. [Photo by Sun Xiaochen/chinadaily.com.cn]

BEIJING -- Compilation of new soccer textbooks for Chinese primary and middle schools is scheduled for completion around the end of March, after the Ministry of Education named the sport a compulsory part of the national curriculum.

The seven volumes are being compiled with input from soccer teachers by state-managed publisher the People's Education Press (PEP). They are aimed at primary school students from grade three to six as well as junior and senior middle school students, Wednesday's Beijing Youth Daily reported.

Students will be able to use their cellphones to scan QR codes in the textbooks and access instructional videos, the newspaper quoted Chen Keqi, head of sports section of the PEP, as saying.

As well as teaching soccer's basic skills and rules, the textbooks will foster team spirit and sense of responsibility, Chen said.

In February, the government kicked off a plan to improve China's soccer credentials, with the country embarrassed in recent times by the performance of its national team and corruption in domestic leagues.

The Ministry of Education plans to select thousands of schools to lead the campaign, reviving the sport's popularity on campus and offering coaching that it hopes will create a bigger pool of talented players.

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