Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, when asked about the globalization of the NFL game, once said he envisioned a Chinese-born quarterback named "Yao Fling" entering the league and becoming a phenomenon one day.
That day might soon come.
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The Washington Post is reporting that an indoor professional football league has been green-lit by Chinese sports authorities for 2015. The China American Football League, a venture created by Beijing-based owner Marty Judge, announced the plans to move forward with the groundbreaking league.
“With the backing of the Chinese government, the sky is the limit for how we can grow American football in the vast, untapped Chinese marketplace,” Judge said in a writter statement.
Judge is the co-owner of the U.S.-based Arena Football League’s Philadelphia Soul, and former NFL coach Dick Vermeil and former NFL quarterback Ron Jaworski also are involved, according to the announcement.
Said Vermeil: “To get the opportunity to share our great sport with the sports fans in China is something that very much excites me.”
The plan is for the league to be comprised of six to eight teams, with both Chinese and American players on the rosters. The teams will be based in major Chinese cities, but there is no further information on when exactly the league would launch or which cities would be involved.
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- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Dick Vermeil