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Germany and China sign football pact

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It is a diplomatic first, but Germany and China have signed a football pact.   At a meeting in Berlin last week representatives of the German and Chinese governments, as well as of sporting organisations in both countries, signed a series of football-related agreements.

The deal was negotiated at government level after being discussed by German chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese president Xi Jinping.   It also includes agreements between the German football association (DFB) and Bundesliga with the Chinese ministry of education and Chinese football association.  The partnerships will initially last for five years.

President XI wants China to host and win a World Cup,  The partnership is designed for both countries to win dominance in football on and off the pitch.   The treaty includes provisions for German players, coaches and referees to provide guidance to their Chinese counterparts.

Germany will get better access to decision makers so that the Bundesliga can sell its broadcasting rights to China.  The Premier League recently secured a record $700m television rights deal there.