November 8, 2017 / 1:05 PM / 13 days ago

Soccer: Wales, Uruguay, Czechs invited to 2018 China Cup

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Wales, Uruguay and Czech Republic will feature at the China Cup next March, facing off against the Marcello Lippi-coached China national team, the Chinese Football Association has announced.

The tournament will be held in Nanning in late March with the Chinese using the event as preparation for their appearance at the finals of the Asian Cup, which will be held in the United Arab Emirates in early 2019.

“The China Cup will provide our national team with more opportunities to play with top foreign teams while also giving fans the chance to enjoy top level football at home,” Qi Jun, the CFA’s director of competitions, said in a statement.

”The competition is scheduled from March 19-27, which fits with the FIFA international match days and means all participating teams can acquire many ranking points and, to achieve this, they will send their best line-ups.

“For our coach, Mr Lippi, this is an excellent opportunity for his team to improve. The next Asian Cup will take place in January 2019 and the China Cup will play an important role in the team’s preparation.”

The tournament was first held earlier this year, with Chile winning the title and China overcoming Crotia on penalties to seal third-place.

Reporting by Michael Church; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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