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English Premier League to expand presence in China

AP - Sports

BEIJING (AP) -- The English Premier League is expanding its training program for Chinese coaches and referees, looking to further establish itself in the country's vast market.

The Premier Skills program is aimed at reaching more than 1.2 million Chinese students by 2016. It was announced as Prime Minister David Cameron arrived in Beijing on an official visit Monday.

Administered by the Premier League and the British Council, the program already has been active in China for five years.

The Premier League also works on development and marketing projects with clubs in the top-tier China Super League. The Chinese league had been marked by low attendance, poor marketing and widespread corruption among players, coaches and officials before putting itself on a better course.

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