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China Under-20s invited to play in German fourth division

China's Under-20 football team could participate in one of Germany's regional fourth divisions, the German FA (DFB) announces.

China's Under-20s team has been invited to participate in the fourth division of German football, the Deutscher Fussball-Bund has revealed.

Only 19 teams have qualified for the regional southwest division of the German fourth tier, and to even out the fixture list, the DFB has offered the final allocated slot to China.

The plan is part of a five-year cooperation agreement signed between the two countries in November, which will allow China to boost its level of football and the German FA to have facilitated access to the Asian market.

"All 19 clubs have signalled their consent that the Chinese will take part. I therefore believe that the project is on a good path," Felix Wiedemann, the league's executive, told Bild.

DFB vice-president Ronny Zimmermann added: "[The other teams] see this idea positively. The planned cooperation with China is known and for that we need good content.

"We have to see if this idea can be realised. The managers of the regional south-west league will meet soon. A decision must be taken by then as the match plan will be drawn up."

According to reports in Germany, the teams from the regional fourth division would get €15,000 (£13,200) in compensation each from the Chinese FA for the two matches to be played at their home stadium.

While the China U20 team will be part of the regular fixture list, the results from their matches will not be included in the league table.

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