FISU unveiled their University World Cup Football at a press conference in Beijing ©FISU

The International University Sports Federation (FISU) presented their new University World Cup Football tournament during a press conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

FISU signed an agreement with the Federation of University Sports of China (FUSC) in 2017 to host four editions of the event, a new addition to the FISU calendar.

The competition is designed for the world's best university teams, rather than national teams, and will be hosted for the first time in Jinjiang in 2019 with preceding qualifying tournaments taking place in Europe, Asia-Oceania, the Americas and Africa.

The organisers expect hundreds of universities from all over the world to participate in the qualifying rounds.

Following the qualification events, 16 male and eight female university teams will compete in the final round in Jinjiang.

FISU President Oleg Matytsin, centre, visited potential venues for the tournament in Jinjiang ©FISU
FISU President Oleg Matytsin, centre, visited potential venues for the tournament in Jinjiang ©FISU

At the unveiling of the tournament, FISU President Oleg Matytsin thanked the Chinese authorities for their support.

"We are experiencing the beginning of something that I know will be very special for university sports and that I believe will be very special for Jinjiang," he said.

"I am confident that the FISU University World Cup Football will bring the very best together."

FUSC President and China's vice minister of education, Tian Xuejun, added: "The future of football development in China is going to be built on youth football, and therefore we have to start with our youth football programmes that take place on campus.

"In recent years, China has successfully hosted many international sports events so there is a lot of experience we can draw upon, and you can be sure of the success of the FISU University World Cup Football."

After the press conference, Matytsin travelled to Jinjiang to discuss preparations for the tournament with the city's Mayor, Zhang Wenxian.

Chinese football is currently undergoing vast reforms with President Xi Jingping hoping the country can win the FIFA World Cup by 2050.