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International college soccer tournament kicks off in North China | Updated: 2017-09-23 09:36

International college soccer tournament kicks off in North China

Players from National University of Mongolia and Inner Mongolia Normal University compete during the opening game of the "Jintong Cup" Silk Road International College Football Invitational Tournament at the Shengle Campus of IMNU in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia autonomous region, on Sept 22, 2017. [Photo provided to]

On the morning of Sept 22, a grand opening ceremony was held at Inner Mongolia Normal University's Shengle campus for the Silk Road International College Football Invitational Tournament, or "Jintong Cup". The tournament is an event of the second China-Mongolia Expo and the 2017 Silk Road International Naadam Festival.

Zhang Yamin, vice-director of the Department of Education of the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, spoke highly of the soccer tournament's significance. Zhang said it will boost a shared sports culture among students and will spread the spirit and friendship of soccer among teenagers through to other countries involved in the ancient and modern Silk Road.

The tournament will also provide a rare opportunity for the region to gain advanced experience in soccer instruction, noted Zhang.

One of China's neighbors, Uzbekistan, attended the event for the very first time.

"Sport, as the messenger of peace and friendship, builds up people's body and mind, and also help people unite together," said Ogier Guyshonov, vice president of Uzbekistan's Tashkent State Normal University.

He looked forward to further strengthening cooperation and exchanges in education, science and technology, culture and art with countries along the Silk Road, especially between their research institutes and universities.

He was confident that sound bilateral relations in economy, trade and investment will be established through this opportunity.

The 2017 Silk Road International Naadam Festival, organized by Inner Mongolia Normal University (IMNU), aims at promoting exchanges in education, culture, sports and arts among universities in China, Mongolia, Russia and other countries taking part in the Belt and Road Initiative.

Compared with the previous two Naadam festivals, this year's event has enriched its activities and drawn wider popularity.

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