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Beijing: The 2016 AFC U-14 Regional Festival of Football for the East zone kicked off in the Chinese capital on Tuesday.

Ten nations – China PR, Chinese Taipei, DPR Korea, Guam, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea Republic, Macau, Mongolia and the Northern Mariana Islands – are taking part in the festival whose opening ceremony was held at the National Football Training Centre in Xianghe.

Dr. Zhao Chao of the Chinese Football Association welcomed the participants to China and hoped they would enjoy the festival.  He thanked the AFC for the opportunity to organise the festival again and ensured that the CFA would provide all necessary support to the participating teams to make their stay a memorable one.

AFC Festival Manager Dr. Shamil Kamil Mohammed said the festival aimed to provide a platform to discover and develop talented players and encouraged the participants to enjoy the event, build new friendship and take the opportunity to gain more knowledge and develop personal values such as confidence, honesty, team-spirit, tolerance and respect.

The opening ceremony was followed by the first match between hosts China and Macau. A total of 20 matches will be played over four days of the festival, which will conclude on September 10, 2016.