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China to launch American football league

Photo: Bill McCay/WireImage

China has been approved to start its first professional football league.

The development of the China American Football League (CAFL) has been in the works for several years, according to a press release. ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski and former coach Dick Vermeil have been involved in the venture with U.S. businessman Marty Judge, who is a part owner of the Arena Football League’s Philadelphia Soul .

The CAFL is scheduled to begin play in 2015 with two conferences and six to eight teams from major cities in China. The league is also planning for a championship game and an All-Star Game at the end of the season to be held in Macau. ​The franchises will be sold for $10 million each, and owners will receive a portion of the television licensing rights. 

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The league will play a style similar to Arena Football because it "best suits the Chinese fan base due to its faster pace, higher scoring and 'close-to-the-fans' entertainment," according to the release. Each CAFL team will have a both American and Chinese players.

- Sarah Barshop

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