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