Sport Club Ivoti director Sandro Blum says 16 Chinese footballers, all teenagers, will spend the next three years training at his southern Brazilian club, Jornal NH reports.

The Brazilian newspaper quotes Mr Blum as saying the players, whose ages range from 12 to 15, are waiting to obtain visas to stay in Brazil, and are due to arrive in the next few months, accompanied by two Chinese coaches.

Mr Blum said the Chinese Football Association was endeavouring to make world-class footballers out of promising young Chinese players.

Sport Club Ivoti and the Chinese FA got together in 2014 to arrange training in Brazil for young Chinese footballers, and last year five Chinese youngsters were in training at the club, Jornal NH says.