2nd Sino-Nordic football tournament will kick off in May

 Icelandic Ambassador to China Stefán Skjaldarson and Deputy Head of the Department of the European Affairs of the MFA Zhu Qin attend the drawing ceremony. Photo: Global Times

The Republic of Iceland has a much easier group to play in the 2nd Sino-Nordic Cup Football Tournament than their European Championship campaign.

“This year is the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Iceland. And it is the first time that Iceland made it into the European Championship,” said the Icelandic Ambassador to China Stefán Skjaldarson at the drawing ceremony of the Sino-Nordic football event that took place at the Embassy of the Republic of Iceland in Beijing on May 6.

Organized jointly by the Global Times and the Department of European Affairs of Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the Sino-Nordic Cup Football Tournament is an annual event aiming to boost people-to-people contacts through the sport as well as to strengthen the profound cooperation between China and the Nordic countries including Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark.

The 2nd edition of the tournament will kick off at Beijing Language and Cultural University on May 28. A total of 12 football teams will participate in the game in three groups.

Embassy of Sweden, Department of European Affairs of MFA, Chinese Football Association (CFA) and Beijing Sports University were drawn in a difficult Group A. CFA won the inaugural cup last year.

Embassy of Denmark, Embassy of Finland, Beijing Language and Culture University and Beijing Old Boys Football Club are in Group B. Group C pits Embassy of Norway against Embassy of Iceland, Chinese Press United and Beijing Geely University.

Different from the first year, this year's tournament will also include female players in each participating team.

At the ceremony, Deputy Head of the Department of the European Affairs of the MFA Zhu Qin said that the tournament not only adds new element to the people-to-people interaction between China and Nordic countries, but also provides a good chance and platform for the diplomats of the Nordic countries to better understand their Chinese counterparts.

Ambassador Skjaldarson said that since China and Iceland established diplomatic relations, the bilateral relations have seen a strong growth with pragmatic collaboration in all terms.

“Iceland is the first European country that signed free-trade agreement with China. Meanwhile, both sides have great potential for the development of the sectors such as tourism, pole region, and electric vehicle,” he said.

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