An international cage-football tournament will take place in Jiayuguan City, northwest China's Gansu Province in late June, its organizers announced at a press conference in Beijing on Friday.
The Jiayuguan government hosts the tournament, which is organized by Jiayuguan Sports Office, and supported by the World Cage-Football Union (WCFU).
The event will be held in mobile cage-football pitches for professional and amateur groups, and the fixtures are divided into the group stage and knockout stage.
Each group has 12 teams, and totally 200 players will join in the tournament. For the professional group, the Under-16 squads from Sweden, Australia, Russia, Thailand, and China's Sichuan Province are invited.
Some of the Chinese sports TV and Internet channels will broadcast the live matches.
Cage-football originates from Europe. It is mainly played in a complete shut-off pitch and adapted to five/seven-a-side games. As its equipment is detachable, it is suitable to be promoted in congested Chinese cities.
"In the next 10 years, there will be one million cage-football pitches in China," Zhang Xuejun, the vice president of the WCFU and its China region's executive president, told CGTN.
Yi Zhanying, vice mayor of Jiayuguan, said at the conference, "We hope through the tournament, the football level of our city could be lifted, the football culture could be spread among our citizens, and a communication platform for teenagers all over the world could be built."
Jiayuguan City lies nearby Jiayu Pass, the first frontier fortress at the western end of the Ming-dynasty Great Wall. It is famous for its ancient city ruins, which are well protected. Besides, the desert city has plenty of natural resources as heavy industries are highly developed there.
"The public will see our historical city from a different angle through the tournament," Yi said.