“Chen Yi Cup” Shanghai Football Association Race

The “Chen Yi Cup” Shanghai Football Association Race (Chinese: “陈毅杯”上海市足球协会杯赛; Pinyin: “Chényì bēi” shànghǎi shì zúqiú xiéhuì bēisài) has be founded in 1981.

Formely labelled as Shanghai “Chen Yi Cup”; it is named after CHEN Yi (Chinese: 陈毅; pinyin: Chén Yì); former Chinese communist military commander and politician. He served as Mayor of Shanghai from 1949 to 1958 and as Foreign Minister of China from 1958 to 1972.

In 1983, the number of participating teams reached a record of 2,300. Due to various reasons, it’s been suspended after 1994 but resumed in 2011. In 2022, it’s been officially renamed the “Chen Yi Cup” Shanghai Football Association Race. The winning team is eligible to represent Shanghai in the Chinese FA Cup Qualifying Tournament.

The Shanghai Lions FC & The Chen Yi Cup

There have been always kind of controversy for foreign nationals to join the cup. The Lions however have been able to join once the competition for the 2019 edition.

So far, this has been a “one-shot thing” but we wish that Shanghai Football Association (SFA) will eventually us again in the future.

Background History

Early Days

In 1981, the Shanghai Football Association and the Shanghai Federation of Trade Unions jointly established the first Shanghai “Chen Yi Cup” employee football match. The event has been held for 14 times until 1994. The early Cup was divided into 7-a-side system and 11-a-side system. The 7-a-side system was divided into three levels (A, B, and C) with 2 stages (preliminaries and finals in each competition area).

The first “Chen Yi Cup” employee football match was opened at Hongkou Stadium on November 25, 1981. Wang Daohan, the mayor of Shanghai at the time, came to the scene and kicked off the match. There were 836 registered teams for the first Cup. During the second competition in 1982, the number of registered teams doubled to 1,655. In 1983, the number of registered teams for the third session rose to 2,300, reaching the highest level in history. 

To encourage the winning teams and promote the extensive development of employee football activities in Shanghai; winning teams were invited to compete with brother cities (Nanjing, Dalian, Qingdao, Chongqing & Guangzhou) in 1989 through mutual visits.

In the early 1990s, Shanghai started to experience major industrial adjustments… For instance, the factories that owned those football teams were gradually transformed into companies one after another. Therefore, the original model of manufacturers paying to support a team got completely disrupted. Other factors such as the loss of interest from young workers; this football development model supported by companies became a thing of the past.

The 11th Chen Yi Cup Group A Championship Trophy

As a consequence, the cup got suspended from 1995 to 2010.


In 2010, based on the success of the 11th Shanghai Games, the Shanghai Sports Bureau and the Shanghai Federation of Trade Unions decided to resume the Shanghai “Chen Yi Cup”.

On May 28, 2011, the Shanghai “Chen Yi Cup” football match resumed. During the period from 2012 to 2015, it was divided into 3 groups: the social group, the network group and the Korean League group, and there was a final.

Until 2016, the “Chen Yi Cup” was the highest-level amateur football competition available in Shanghai. In 2017, the SFA created the Shanghai Football Association Amateur Football League (Chinese: 上海市足球协会超级联赛; Pinyin: Shànghǎi shì zúqiú xiéhuì chāojí liánsài) independently from the “Chen Yi Cup”.

Since the establishment of this amateur league in 2017; the winning team of the “Chen Yi Cup” is eligible to represent Shanghai in the Chinese FA Cup Qualifying Tournament.

“Chen Yi Cup”Results

Early Days (1981-1994)

EditionYearNo. of teams7-a-side (Group A)7-a-side (Group A)11-a-side11-a-side
11981836China Textile Machinery FactoryYangpu Real Estate Bureau
219821,646Dalong Machinery FactoryYangpu Real Estate Bureau
319832,301Yangpu Real Estate BureauDalong Machinery Factory
419842,103Dalong Machinery FactoryBike Three factory
519851,251Shanghai Tool FactoryHuatong Switch Factory
619861,227First Textile Machinery FactoryNew China
Knife & Scissors Factory
719871,027Shanghai Tool FactoryHuatong Switch Factory
81988627Shanghai Sewing Machine FactoryShanghai Motor Factory
91989533New Asia Radio FactoryHuatong Switch FactoryYangpu Real Estate BureauSecond Ironworks
101990643Shanghai Tool FactoryShanghai RefineryYangpu Real Estate BureauBike Three factory
111991Shanghai Xu Fang

After Recovery (2011-Present)

EditionYearNo. of teamsChampionRunner-up
201128Xufang GroupZhabei DistrictSinopec TongjiBaoshan Highway
201224Sinopoly PetrochemicalZhabei DistrictCombat MunicipalXufang Group
201310Combat MunicipalSports WindowZhabei DistrictXufang Group
20146Moser DIBJiading City DevelopmentXufang GroupYangpu Chuanglin
20158Xufang GroupJiading City DevelopmentChengtou WaterXiangyang Faculty (Xuhui Faculty)
201614Shanghai ShenfanYangpu Donghua ChuanglinXufang Engineering UniversitySwaying Sports
201711Huajiao MarinersShanghai FuxingShangchexiangXufang Engineering University
201820SAIC DIBShanghai HuajiaoJiading City DevelopmentChengtou Water
201944Shanghai Huajiaoreal milanSAIC TongjiMitsubishi Heavy Industries K Lion
202037Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Flying LionsShanghai HuajiaoShanghai Public SecurityShanghai Tangerine
202129Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Flying LionsShanghai HuajiaoShanghai TongjiEast China Politics and Law

More About Previous Editions (in Chinese)