Chinese Football Association signs long-term partnership deal with STATSports


STATSports has announced a deal with the Chinese Football Association (CFA) which will see the Irish company provide its pioneering APEX wearable player tracking system to all national teams within the federation.

The landmark deal will see STATSports’ technology play a key role in helping China reach its aim of qualify, host and win a World Cup within the next 30 years, while also getting 50 million people playing the sport by 2020.

The company’s APEX technology tracks each athlete’s performance during practice sessions and games and provides direct and invaluable real-time feedback to coaching staff and players.

It measures and analyses physical attributes of players and can provide details on metrics such as distance covered, speed, acceleration, as well as insights on player load and the level of fatigue and injury risk of the athlete/player.

Lido Du, Head of National Team Performance at the Chinese Football Association, said:

“We are looking to improve our on-field performance of our National teams. We identified GPS player tracking technology as a crucial factor in facilitating this improvement.

“We have tested all leading GPS suppliers on the market and we very happy with the overall package offered by STATSports. Their APEX system provided the most accurate data feedback and allows us the most in-depth insights into our athletes performance at all levels of the association.

“Big data has become an exceedingly important part of gaining advantage and self-improvement in today’s football world. Tracking data is an inevitable component in it. Now our teams use APEX system in training daily and even in many official matches, which has been a great support to us from many aspects.”

STATSports Chief Global Strategist Jarlath Quinn said:

“This agreement with the Chinese Football Association is another fantastic achievement for STATSports. Chinese football has received a great deal of coverage over the last couple of years and has made significant investments to ensure they can compete at the highest level in years to come. STATSports are delighted to play our part in assisting the CFA to achieve their goals over the coming years and are excited to build on this partnership as the sport continues to grow throughout China.

“Our APEX device give the coaches access to real-time data on individual players and the team as a whole during training and matches. This means the Chinese Football Association can tailor each training session to ensure that players reach peak condition come match day, giving them the opportunity to perform at their best on the biggest stage.”

The deal follows the company’s landmark agreements earlier this year with both US Soccer and the Brazilian Football Confederation with their APEX device. European champions Portugal, Belgium, England and Ireland. The technology is also used by many of the world’s biggest sporting organisations across the English Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, MLS, NFL, NBA, Rugby Union and International hockey. STATSports already have a significant number of clients in China including Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao F.C. who have won the Chinese Super League title for the past 7 years in a row.

With a National Football Plan that aims to have 50 million players, 70,000 pitches and 50,000 coaches by 2020, substantial investments are shaping the football landscape and creating opportunities for businesses in football development in China.

Such a significant influx of funds has come as a result of President Xi Jinping’s Football Reform Plan which sets a target of having a competitive national football team capable of fighting for international titles for which growing a nationwide youth academy system to produce world class players is essential.

The plan, which started in 2015, came at a time when there was already an increased interest of Chinese audiences with the first FIFA World Cup hosted in Asia – Japan and Korea - in 2002 and the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup – hosted in China - and the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Statistics show the average attendance at CSL football matches went up from 10,000 to just fewer than 25,000, an increase of almost 150% over the last 10 years. This growth experienced in elite professional football in the nation is now giving way to unprecedented plans in amateur football and grassroots with the Reform Plan accelerating the “natural” course of football development.

To service the growing number of footballers, more facilities are being built at an exponential pace. Another part of the country’s Football Reform Plan is the inclusion of football in the school curriculum with over 800,000 primary schools in China and many hundreds of thousands more secondary schools. As a result, the opportunity for STATSports and its new revolutionary APEX wearable player tracking monitoring device is enormous.

The three wishes of President Xi Jinping to qualify for another World Cup, to host a World Cup and to win a World Cup all within the next 30 years means that the funding and investment for these projects will be made as soon as possible. This creates a level and scale of demand that is unprecedented and the means to meet this are unquestionable so the opportunities for businesses such as STATSports are on the rise.

The Chinese national soccer team is using STATSports' APEX technology at their training sessions.

This agreement with the Chinese Football Association is another fantastic achievement for STATSports.

Jarlath Quinn, Chief Global Strategist at STATSports