Countdown to China’s first ever World Football Forum begins

Plans for the World Football Forum 2017 were revealed today in a press conference launch event in Changsha, a few hours before the city staged a crucial China – Korea Republic FIFA World Cup qualifier.

The event was packed, with over 300 journalists from more than 90 media outlets as well as senior representatives from the Chinese Football Association, the Hunan Football Association and the Changsha government. The chief purpose of the press conference was to introduce Chinese and international audiences to the WFF concept, and to shine the spotlight on WFF 2017 host city Changsha.

Edward Cowell, WFF Event Director, spoke about the evolution of the event since 2011, and explained its guiding theme – an exploration of the new geography of football – a theme which has brought it to China. He said: “across Asia, football is being met by new audiences and new fans. It is in this new geography that the future of football lies”.

The press conference was hosted by the Government of Hunan Province and the Changsha Sports Bureau, whose Director, Li Ping, spoke warmly about Changsha’s partnership with WFF and her ambitions of developing the city’s credentials as a sports destination.

The event also provided the perfect platform for a global exclusive: a sneak preview of football superstar Ronaldinho’s new project - the Global Street Tour. This exciting initiative, which will be presented by Ronaldinho at WFF in May, will bring freestyle street football into cities across China.