Italian soccer federation signs deal with Chinese government

<p>
              Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, and Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte shake their hands at the end of the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding at Rome's Villa Madama, Saturday, March 23, 2019. Italy signed a memorandum of understanding with China on Saturday in support of Beijing's "Belt and Road" initiative, which aims to weave a network of ports, bridges and power plants linking China with Africa, Europe and beyond. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
            </p>

ROME (AP) — The Italian soccer federation has signed a wide-ranging memorandum with the Chinese government to promote soccer between the two countries.

The deal foresees playing the Italian Super Cup or Italian Cup in China within the next three years.

The Italian Super Cup — which pits the Serie A champion against the Italian Cup champion — has already been played in China four times over the last 10 years.

The meeting with China Media Group head Shen Haixiong also focused on TV content and rights, collaboration over developing young Chinese players in Italy and instruction for using the video assistant referee.

Shen was in Rome for the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Italian federation president Gabriele Gravina says, “Soccer has shown once again to be a bridge between different cultures.”