Interview with Mr Nelson Cheng, Director General of Dr Sun Yi Xian's Youth Foundation


On May 13, 2012, Nelson Cheng (middle), Director General of Dr Sun Yi Xian's Youth Foundation, and Jamie Houchen, head of the Education Department of the English Football Association (second from left), took a photo after signing the contract at Wembley Football Stadium in London


sino-uk-schools-football-project news

Hartpury Sports Academy players (left) fight in the All England Academy Football Final


When will China become a football power? China has become a big country with Olympic gold medals, but Chinese football is still lagging behind. How can Chinese football take off?

On May 13, 2012, the Football Association of England and the "Dr Sun Yi Xian's Youth Foundation (UK)" (hereinafter referred to as the Foundation) signed an agreement in London, announcing the implementation of the 15-year "Sunshine Sports-Sino-UK School Football Project". The mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau provide school football education and training and teaching materials to help train Chinese youth football education and popularization, cultivate Chinese football elites for the future, and promote the popularization of Chinese football.

  As a welfare fund charity organization registered in England, after nearly 10 years of preliminary exploration, the relevant institutions in England and China have finally reached a consensus, that is: English football experience, England is willing to export, and China is willing to introduce. The foundation plans to use 10 years to gradually promote soccer campus education to the Greater China region, first in 62 cities. To this end, the reporter interviewed Mr Nelson Cheng, director-general of the foundation, to explain the purpose and concept of the plan. The content of the interview is as follows: (Note: Reporter, Cheng: Mr Nelson Cheng)

  Remember: The England team is not the strongest in today's world competitions. Why do you recommend English football to China?

  Cheng: First of all, the rules and regulations of modern football, and the popularization of football culture are all formulated and exported by the British. The rules of football implemented globally, such as youth football development plans, football coaching teaching materials, and football education textbooks, are mainly designed and formulated by the United Kingdom. Secondly, the country with the greatest voice in international football today is still the United Kingdom. Among the 8 seats of the International Football Council, the United Kingdom occupies 4 seats. This is because the development of football in the UK has gradually established a relatively complete set of football industry management, from campus football education to the popularization of social football. With rules and laws, a strong football culture in the British society and a solid capital foundation for the football industry have been formed.

   In addition, the British regard football as the cultural soft power of the United Kingdom, just like the world-wide 007 movies, just like English has an impact on the world and plays a role in the international influence of the United Kingdom. Similarly, the Chinese economy in the 21st century has taken off, and it should be time to introduce other countries’ soft power, including football. Besides, the use of English teaching in English football is conducive to strengthening the cooperation between Chinese football and major Western football countries in the future, and it is also conducive to the international exchanges of Chinese football and meeting friends with the ball.

  Note: What do you think is the main reason hindering the development of Chinese football? What is the biggest difficulty in introducing soccer into China?

  Cheng: The biggest difficulty at the moment, I think it is China’s current football management system. The English school football is mainly in the charge of the Ministry of Education, and the specific implementation is implemented by the local education bureau to manage the schools. The English Football Association only plays the role of support and funding. However, the current Chinese football is under the control of the State Sports General Administration, which has a football management center, and then the Football Association. It is difficult for several high-level government departments to manage the universal education of campus football and effectively cooperate with community youth football. Develop and grow.

  Note: Regarding the promotion of English school football, what are the recommendations and plans of the foundation?

  Cheng: We emphasize that the promotion of school football must reform the Chinese football management system. I think the Chinese government officials also attach great importance to and agree with it. For example, we plan to hold the "Sunshine Sports-Sino-UK School Football Project" basic education international football coaching course (the first stage of teaching procedure) in East China around May next year. This will serve as the basis for the popularization of school football education in China. The pilot project also laid the foundation for the establishment of the first "Sino-UK School Football Project Training Center" in mainland China in the future.

   I will join 6 to 8 famous school football coaches sent by the English Football Association to East China (preliminarily expected to be set up near Shanghai) to participate in the first course. We will bring English football textbooks to China for reference, and these textbooks are currently being translated. The Chinese football coaches receiving training will not first learn football skills, but football education concepts, management, regulations, health care, and psychology. These are all British football coach qualification requirements.

   At the same time, we suggest that China set up a dedicated organization for football reform and management, or it can be tentatively named "China Football Culture Development Bureau" to study and formulate football management systems and regulations in line with national conditions.

   More than a hundred years ago, the England School Football Association was established, and now it has 26 campus football member countries around the world. Our foundation sincerely hopes that mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Australia can learn from the association’s experience in popularizing campus football education, and use its resources and influence in popularizing campus football education to fully promote the 15-year "Sunshine Sports-Sino-UK School Football Project". When the time is right, Chinese school football strives to join the 27th member state.


Source Hong Kong Ta Kung Pao-Promoting Sino-UK School Football Project

Hong Kong Ta Kung Pao-Promoting Sino-UK School Football Project PDF version


In England football, there was a forgotten Chinese star

Xinhua News Agency, London, April 10th New Media Special News Title: The Forgotten Chinese Superstar's Enlightenment to Chinese Football

Xinhua News Agency reporter Wang Zijiang

British writer Susan Gardiner recently published a biography of a former England player called "Frank Sue the Wanderer", which unearthed many stories about the Chinese player Frank Soo. Soo is the first non-white player in history to play for the England team. However, because of racial discrimination and other reasons, his achievements have been drowned in history. Gardiner's book not only made the world understand the brilliant achievements of a star, but also made people sigh the hard work of the Chinese in the UK.

Gartinaer was entrusted by the Football Association of England to write many biographies of players and books on football history. For more than 10 years, Nelson Cheng, the director of the Sino-UK School Football Project and the director general of the Dr Sun Yi Xian's Youth Foundation, has been working closely with the FA. Therefore, the FA asked him to interview a reporter from Xinhua News Agency to interview Gatinaer. At the same time, Soo His grandnephew Ian Soo and Nelson Cheng's assistant, former England Football Association board member Mr John Read, Read also served as the chief executive of the English School Football Association for 10 years, is also very interested in the history of Frank Soo.

Soo was born in 1914 and grew up in Liverpool. His father, Soo Quan, was a sailor from East Lake in Chishui, Kaiping County, Guangdong. Later he ran a laundry shop in Liverpool. Sue played for Stoke City from 1933 to 1945 and served as captain. He played a total of 173 times. He also played for Everton, Chelsea, Reading and Millwall during the war. In February 1945, at the home of Aston Villa, he represented the England team against the Scotland team. He was also on the field with the legendary England star Matthews, who later became the first football player to win the jazz title , Played until the age of 50 before retiring, and Soo Qiang played 9 games for England.

Soo is not as lucky as Matthews. In an interview, his grand-nephew Ian expressed the anger of the whole family: "Frank Sue became a forgotten player, but in that era he was worshipped by all Stoke fans. The hero of China. He looks like Zhang Hua’s face. He is often attacked by racism on the court. We are proud of him so far. He is the first non-white player to be selected for the England team."


   The picture comes from the Internet

Gardiner said in the book that early in his career, Soo received widespread media attention because he was a Chinese, but he also received a lot of criticism. These criticisms seem to be extremely racial discrimination today. For example, in a 1936 In the comic version of The Sun published on the 19th, describing the match between Stoke City and the Sunderland team, one picture depicts Soo as a Qing dynasty, with a braid behind his head. This is used in the comic. Caption: "Don't pull my pig tail!"

After retiring, Soo became a coach and coached the Italian Padua team. Later he went to Northern Europe and stayed there for 30 years. In 1952, he led the Norwegian team to the Helsinki Olympics as the head coach. He also led the Yurgaden team. Won the Swedish League Championship in 1955. Soo later returned to England and was hired by a second-tier team in the northeast of England. Because his long-separated wife had died of illness and he had no children. In 1991, he died of illness in loneliness.

Gardiner said that although Soo died only 26 years ago, there is very little information about him in the UK. In fact, no one knew about him many years before his death. She could only search for scattered materials from old newspapers in places where he lived, such as Britain, Italy, and Northern Europe. She also discovered that Soo at that time was the most prominent figure in English football.

"I have always wondered why he suddenly disappeared." Gatiner said, "His Chinese identity may be one of the reasons. Of course, it also has a lot to do with him coaching in Northern Europe. But why did he coach in Northern Europe instead of in England, is it also due to the discrimination he suffered in British football? This is also possible."

In the process of writing this book, Gardiner came into contact with a lot of Chinese players, and they all suddenly shined. It turns out that Chinese players have reached such a high level in history. She also said that this book is also of great enlightenment for Chinese people, because Frank Sue has the humble, motivated, and hard-working character of Chinese people. "He never drinks and pays attention to maintaining his health, so he rarely gets injured in his career. These lifestyles have been widely accepted by professional players today. In this sense, he is a pioneer of professional football.

Mr Nelson Cheng has been running between China and UK for more than 10 years. His Sino-UK School Football Project is a 15-year school football promotion agreement signed by the Dr Sun Yi Xian's Youth Foundation and the Football Association of England. The agreement covers the Greater China region. Experts with senior football teaching experience who are included in the list of the Football Association and the English School Football Association are selected to introduce the new concept of English campus football education to Greater China and promote football education. The project has trained nearly 300 teachers for China. Now, the Sino-UK School Football Project has compiled its own patented teaching materials, and has its own team of football teaching experts and management talents. The next step is to seek to establish a football cultural education park in China.

Gardiner authorized the Dr Sun Yi Xian's Youth Foundation to distribute this new biography to the Greater China region. Ned, who served as the Minister of Sports and Education at the foundation, hopes that this book will become an essential book for the future Sino-UK School Football Project teaching.

Mr Nelson Cheng said: "Frank Soo is not a miracle. China is such a big country. As long as we take every step steadily, we can have many, many such outstanding players. China is no longer the China of Frank Soo's father. Once a star appears, he will be a superstar in the world and will never grow old in obscurity like Frank Soo."


xijinping met prince william 10 2015

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, UK at Buckingham Palace where he is staying

On October 18, 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping mentioned issues related to Sino-British football cooperation during a special visit to the United Kingdom by the British News Agency (Reuters). Xi Jinping said, 2012年,中英校园足球项目,The UK provides training for Chinese grassroots football coaches.

For news details, please click on the relevant website link below:

shanghai 2014 sino-uk school football project news 8Dr Sun Yi Xian's Youth Foundation's 7th phase English School football training programme brings brainstorming

Shanghai Municipal Education Commission, Shanghai Football Association, Tongji University, Dr Sun Yi Xian's Youth Foundation (UK), International Football College of Tongji University and Shanghai Campus Football League hosted the Sino-UK football education and culture seminar and English School football teaching programme training courses held on 15 July in tongji University enjoying the reputation of "100 years of football." (Source: China Football Daily)

2 August 2019


sign contract 2013bWorld Harmony Realizes the Chinese Dream
Football is the strongest youth in China, overseas Chinese affairs is the cross-strait exchange

For ten years, the British branch has supported the development of the Sino-U.K School football project, which has been promoted in China, Britain, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao and has been recognized and supported by people from all walks of life at home and abroad. (Source: Overseas Chinese Association )

15 September 2014


shanghai 2014 sino-uk school football project news 8"Shanghai Promotes Football" Enlists English Teaching

In order to promote football, recruit British coaches and transplant the British football management system, it is hoped that classes can be set up in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and China. (Source from: Taiwan Central News Agency)

Dr. Sanjing Chen congratulates the team of “Sino-UK School Football Project” in Shanghai

September 15, 2014


shanghai 2014 sino-uk school football project news 8Chinese President Xi Jinping Arrives in UK and visit, China and Britain Create Economic and Trade Flagship Together

Chinese football Cultivate a new generation of stars

In 2012, the [ Sino-UK School Football Project ] was launched, and the UK provided training for Chinese grassroots football coaches. In the next 5 years, China will build 20,000 schools with football characteristics.  (Source: China News Service)

20 October 2015


zhongshan July 2013BOpen the door and take the big road-promote both sides of the strait Chinese: Sunshine Sports -- SINO-U.K School Football Project

The UK branch supports the Dr Sun Yi Xian's Youth Foundation (UK) to expand the cooperation space in football education, and strive to implement the 15-year Sunshine Sports-SINO-UK School Football Project, which has been signed with China. With a view to promoting cultural and sports industry exchanges and cooperation in football education in the four Greater China regions of Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, and promoting the integration of Chinese football players into the world (source from: Overseas Chinese Association )

July 3, 2013


ESFA Nigel BrownUK chapter promoted
Sunshine Sports─Sino-U.K School football project

Mr Nelson Cheng said that the purpose of our school football is to make football a driving force for the healthy growth of young people, not to improve the level of football competition. The latter is the result, not the end. In addition to providing adequate venues for young people to participate in football, the FA has also formulated guidelines on how young people on school and in society can participate in football.。 (source : Overseas Chinese Association )

May 20, 2012


 chen san

shanghai taiwan

shanghai taiwan 2014

hua qiao qie hui 2

hua qiao qie hui


an liang




IMG 0586Early exposure of young children to football is no harm, fun teaching is the most important

So, how exactly should early childhood football be played? Mark Armtiage an expert on the Sino-U.K. School Football Project and an assistant professor at the University of Suffolk in the United Kingdom, recently told China Youth Daily China Youth Network that for children aged 3 to 6, all football activities should be game-based and should be linked to the development of basic skills in agile, balanced and coordinated football. To allow children to make mistakes in football games and to give them a uranium environment in which they can learn and correct themselves, give them enough time to play football instead of overemphiming football training. Mr Mark Armtiage was recently invited to attend the Sino-UK Football Education and Culture Seminar. And [ Sino-U.K. School Football Project -English School Football Teaching Programme ] in Shanghai, where he taught English football teaching methods to Chinese football coaches and school teachers, including a large number of fun football games.  (Source: the China Youth Daily.) 5 August 2019.


vice PThe Sino-UK Football Education and Culture Seminar and the Sino-UK School Football Project - (7th Phase) English School Football Teaching Programme were held at The opening ceremony of Tongji University.

This is the second phase of the implementation plan of the Sino-UK School Football Project initiated and implemented by the Dr Sun Yi Xian's Youth Foundation (UK), the first uranium for football education held by the project (15-16 July) and the seventh training course for english school football teachers (17-23 July). Previously, Dr Sun Yi Xian's Youth Foundation (UK) jointly organized 6 training courses for English school football teachers (2 in Zhongshan City and 4 in Tongji University) with Zhongshan Municipal Education and Sports Bureau, Tongji University and Shanghai Campus Football League in Guangdong Province between 2013 and 2018, successfully training nearly 450 school football teachers in more than 10 provinces and cities across the country, including Shanghai and Zhongshan City.  (Source: from Tongji Football17 July 2019.


IMG 0108Sino-UK Football Education and Culture Seminar opens in Shanghai.

Tongji University Vice-President Lei Xingxuan said that Tongji University and Dr Sun Yi Xian's Youth Foundation are jointly committed to the development of Chinese football education and culture, to help the Greater China (including Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao) regional football culture construction, for the implementation of the "Belt and Road" to investigate the initiative, for the development of global football education and cultural exchanges and cooperation to provide uranium path.   (Source: by Xinhua News Agency

15 July 2019.



thepaper2School football is not a training national team class, this concept please understand first.

On 15 July 2019, the Sino-UK Football Education and Culture Seminar Investigation and the 7th English School Football Teaching Programme were held at Tongji University, the second phase of the implementation plan of the Sino-UK School Football Project initiated and implemented by the Dr Sun Yi Xian's Youth Foundation (UK). In the study, english football youth training experts put forward the concept of the problem - school football is Kim, not for the national football valve. And Chinese youth training coaches in learning Western football, but also know how to teach according to their talents. (Source: by The Paper)

19 July 2019.



IMG 0705Dr Sun Yi Xian's Youth Foundation's 7th Sino-UK School Football Teaching Programme brings brainstorming.

Co-sponsored by the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission, Shanghai Football Association, Tongji University, Dr Sun Yi Xian's Youth Foundation (UK), tongji University International Football Academy and Shanghai Campus Football League, the Sino-UK Football Education and Culture Seminar and the English Football Teachers' Teaching Course Training Course were held on July 15 at Tongji University, which enjoys the reputation of football for the past 100 years. (Source: China Football Daily News

2 August 2019.



IMG 1159The 2019 Sino-UK School Football Project- English School Football Teaching Programme was successfully concluded.

On 23 July, at 17:00, the closing ceremony of the 2019 Sino-UK School Football Project ( 7th) English Football Teaching Programme Was held in the conference room of Tongji University Complex. Mr. Zheng Shaoqiang, Chairman of Dr Sun Yi Xian's Youth Foundation, Mr. Zhu Guanghu, President of Shanghai Football Association, Professor Yu Songhui, Dean of Tongji University International Football College, Mr. Jimmy Houchen, Minister of Coaching and Teaching of Dr Sun Yi Xian's Youth Foundation, and a team of British coaches and 78 training course participants attended the closing ceremony. (Source: Tongji football College.)

25 July 2019.



IMG 1058The Shanghai Football Association and Tongji University, in cooperation with the Dr Sun Yi Xian's Youth Foundation, have further landed on the Sino-UK School Football Project.

According to Zhu Guanghu, president of the Shanghai Football Association, the two sides have signed a strategic cooperation agreement on 27 March this year on the Sino-U.K School Football Project, which includes the investigation and cultivation of a high-level Chinese football coaching team, the training of outstanding young football players, as well as the implementation of the Investigation Belt and Road Initiative, and the conduct of international exchange activities in football culture. This signing is based on the strategic cooperation agreement, combined with the advantages of resources and development basis of both sides, in order to strengthen the promotion of early childhood football and promote the cultivation of football teachers and football cultural exchanges in four places across the Taiwan Strait, after the agreement party fully and assessed the implementation agreement reached. (Source: by Xinhuanet)   10 June 2019.




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