CFA Team China will return to the screens of China Central Television after the state broadcaster signed a three-and-half year deal with the Chinese Football Association’s commercial partner China Football Industry Development Company/World Sport Group to broadcast games involving the National Teams at all levels.

China Central Television’s (CCTV) engagement with CFA Team China will begin with the FIFA World Cup 2014 qualifying match against Laos in Kunming on 23 July being shown on the nationwide sports channel, CCTV 5, and will continue until the end of 2014.

“It gives us great pleasure to see the matches of CFA Team China being broadcast on CCTV once again,” said Wei Di, general secretary of the Chinese Football Association.

“We consider our national teams to be the property of the entire country and, as such, it is imperative the teams’ sporting endeavours on fields both at home and abroad are available for the whole country to watch.”

The meeting with Laos marks the beginning of CFA Team China’s attempt to qualify for the finals of the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil, with the winner of the clash – to be played over two legs, with the second game in Vientiane on 28 July – entering the preliminary draw for the FIFA World Cup in Rio de Janeiro on 30 July.

“As the state broadcaster, it is natural that CCTV works closely with CFA Team China,” said Jiang Heping, controller of CCTV5. “We are natural partners.

“A high-class product such as CFA Team China should be presented on one platform throughout the country and that is what this deal will see happening.

“I’m confident that with hard work and with the right leadership, the future of CFA Team China will be a bright one and I hope that we will see our national team qualify for the finals of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil in 2014.”

Nick Mould, president, East Asia of World Sport Group, added: “Having the state broadcaster on board is vital to further developing the deep links that already exist between CFA Team China and the Chinese people.

“As we seek to help steer CFA Team China towards a new era, we are confident that our partnership with CCTV will be in the best interests of everyone who cares about the sport of football in China.”

The deal with CCTV follows the signing of a four-year deal between World Sport Group and the China Football Industry Development Company (CFIDC) to develop new commercial and media opportunities for CFA Team China.

The relationship, which began at the start of June, has already seen a new brand identity and a new website launched, with further initiatives in the pipeline.