July 7 – China’s commitment to football has been reinforced in the women’s game with Alipay committing to a $145 million 10-year investment in the women’s game in the country.
The aim of making the sport more sustainable and accessible to young girls. China’s women’s team – unlike its men’s team – qualified for the just completed World Cup, exiting the tournament in the first knock-out round.
The funding is coming primarily from the charity Alipay Foundation, supported by a number of other foundations including those of Alibaba co-founders Jack Ma and Joe Tsai.
The money will be jointly managed by them and the Chinese FA and targeted across four main areas: performance improvement of China’s national women’s team; injury prevention and treatment, and career development of retired players; technical development and coach education; and youth development.
“We are very grateful for Alipay’s unprecedented, ten-year commitment to women’s football in China,” added Cai Yong, executive committee member of the CFA. “Women’s football is not just a sport, but also a powerful social cause that encourages girls and women to pursue their dreams and ambitions.”
Alipay has been running a programme to support young girls in Qiongzhong Li and Miao Autonomous County, Hainan Province.
“Over the past two years, I’ve seen from the girls in Qiongzhong that football has brought them more than just physical fitness and technical skills. It has also opened doors for them to more life options and opportunities, as well as tenacity and fighting spirit,” said Eric Jing, chairman and chief executive of Ant Financial Services Group, an affiliate of Alibaba Group and the operator of Alipay.
“This has strengthened our determination to expand our support and enable more development and innovation in women’s and girls’ football in China.”
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