Across China: New season of Village Super League enlightens people's football passion-Xinhua

Across China: New season of Village Super League enlightens people's football passion

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-01-08 20:12:00

GUIYANG, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- The new season of Village Super League, dubbed "Cun Chao," kicked off last Saturday in Rongjiang County, Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture of southwest China's Guizhou Province.

At 9 a.m. on last Saturday, players from Kouzhai Village Football Team and Miaoben Village Football Team played the first football game on the pitch, signaling the commencement of the Village Super League's new season qualifiers in 2024.

Countless videos of football games held in this mountainous area went viral on social media platforms last summer in 2023, attracting millions of tourists from all over the world who came to experience the sheer joy of football matches and the unique attractiveness of local ethnic people's cultures.

Despite the current cold and rainy weather, people's love for football remains unaffected. Thousands of people flocked to the football field to cheer on their favorite teams. The Village Super League rekindles people's enthusiasm in football sports.

Looking at the lively and exciting scene, game commentators couldn't help but exclaim, "The hot and familiar Village Super League has begun!"

At the opening ceremony of the new season, 62 teams competing in the tournament marched into the stadium carrying their team flags.

From Jan. 6 until Feb. 24, 62 teams will compete fiercely in the qualifiers. From March to May of this year, 20 teams from Rongjiang County are participating in the "Cun Chao" tournament on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Divided into two groups, the teams will compete in round-robin matches and knockout stages.

The number of teams for the 2024 season has increased dramatically, from 20 in 2023 to 62 this year, with a total of more than 1,800 football players.

"All the teams are divided into 10 groups, and the top 2 teams of each group can enter the finals. The competition is intense," said 36-year-old She Mingyue, a team member of the Fenghuang Village Football Team.

"The organization and management of the new season are more procedure-based, and I believe the competition will be more challenging and interesting," She added.

She's team was placed in the top 10 of the 2023 competition. In order to make greater strides, She's team prioritizes training daily. She believes that keeping up with their daily training schedules not only boosts the team's performance but also keep the players in a better shape.

"As for the preparation for the new season, our team plays at least two warm-up matches every week, and continues football skill training after those matches, hoping to inspire everyone's potential," She said.

Meanwhile, after a fierce competition, Fengle Village Football Team finally defeated Guiliu Village Football Team with the score of 6: 1 on Saturday.

Twenty-year-old Zhang Zhaolai of the Fengle Village Football Team, a Cun Chao first timer, played well throughout the Saturday match game, scoring three goals and assisted with two goals for his teammates.

"This is my first game in 'Cun Chao', and I am very happy to achieve such grades." Zhang couldn't contain his excitement when talking about his feelings as a first time player in this competition.

Tang Haoyang, a 21-year-old Fengle Village Football Team player, also played in the game for the first time. When asked what his goal for the season was, Tang said, "Winning the championship."

Local villagers dressed in ethnic costumes could be seen everywhere around the stadium, playing Lusheng musical instrument and drums, dancing and singing or cheering for the players while enjoying this football gala.

"I haven't been to the scene of 'Cun Chao' for several months, and today I feel the charm of rural football games again," said Wang Jing, a football fan from Guiyang, the provincial capital of Guizhou.

Wang took the high-speed train early in the morning to watch the game. When talking about his expectation for the new season, he hoped that "Cun Chao" would always keep its purity of mass sports and continue to present more beauty and brilliance of football competition.

The new season of Village Super League, which began in winter, will continue through spring and summer, bringing more heat and passion to the world.