Germany plans for China under-20 to play in local league

BERLIN: A China under-20 selection could be the 20th team in the German regional southwest league next season, playing out of competition, as the Asian nation is eager to tap into the world champions' stellar youth training.

German Football Association (DFB) Vice President Ronny Zimmermann told Kicker magazine the idea had been favourably received by the teams which would receive 15,000 euros each for the two matches against the Chinese team.

"They see this idea positively," Zimmermann told the magazine. "The planned cooperation with China is known and for that we need good content."

"We have to see if this idea can be realised. The managers of the regional southwest league will meet soon. A decision must be taken by then as the match plan will be drawn up."

Germany is renowned for its youth work with every player in the national team having come through the system put in place more than 15 years ago after disappointing results in international competitions.

While the Bundesliga cannot boast the revenues of England's Premier League, the German clubs systematically provide a stream of talented young players for other European powerhouses.

The plan is part of a five-year cooperation agreement signed between the two countries in November which will allow China to boost its level of football and the German FA to have a facilitated access to the vast Asian market.

The DFB could not be immediately reached for a comment.