(Sports Focus) Chinese company wins commercial rights to 2021-28 AFC tournaments (updated)

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, June 12, 2018
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BEIJING, June 12 (Xinhua) -- The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has entered into an agreement with China's DDMC Sports International Ltd and Fortis Sports AG of Switzerland for the AFC's commercial rights, according to the confederation's official website on Tuesday.

The contract covers all games in the period 2021-2028, including the Asian Cup, the AFC Champions League, and Asia's round of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup. DDMC is a Chinese listed company whose businesses cover culture, sports and entertainment.

"Our bid was successful not just because of our financial capability, but also our company's comprehensive strength," said Yu Hang, assistant to the chairman of DDMC.

"We have a scientific and rational prediction of the market. Our plan and vision for the future development of Asian football are more consistent with AFC, and of course, our company's unique conditions in the Chinese market. These were all key factors in our bid's success," Yu added.

Yi Rentao, chairman of DDMC added: "We are greatly honored to be chosen by the AFC as its exclusive commercial partner. Based in China and with a global vision, DDMC is a leader in the Asian sports industry with significant experience in international rights management and cross-border intercultural cooperation."

"This is the first time that Chinese companies have dominated IP and media rights in global sports, as well as the development of related business interests," Yi added.

In the competitive bidding, DDMC saw off other opponents including Lagardere, IMG, Infront Sports & Media, and MP&SILVA.

"The new rights agreement will now secure the financial future of our member associations as well as help the AFC further enhance our competitions and development programs," AFC President Sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa noted.

Sheikh Salman also reflected on the recent progress that has been made by Asian football, thanks to the unity of purpose that has existed in the game during the last five years.

He added that with the tournament being played in Russia, this represents an important time for AFC teams to show what they are capable of, especially Saudi Arabia, who face hosts Russia in the World Cup's opening match.

"Asian football has made and continues to make giant strides. With this new commercial rights deal, Asian football will stand proud on the world stage as the continent becomes the focal point for the global game." Enditem

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