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China opts not to bid for World Cup

CHINA will not submit bids to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cup finals, Chinese media reports said yesterday.

After the successful hosting of last August's Beijing Olympics and the 2007 women's World Cup finals, China was expected to officially register its interest in bidding for the tournaments before yesterday's FIFA deadline.

"In China, the decision of whether to bid for an international sports event like the World Cup is decided by the government... the possibility of bidding for the World Cup is zero," Beijing Youth Daily quoted an unnamed official at the Chinese Football Association as saying.

No one at the CFA was immediately available for comment.

A spokesman for the CFA said in October that China was mulling a bid for the World Cup finals and FIFA President Sepp Blatter said last month that China was among 10 potential bidders.

Yesterday's report, however, cited several CFA officials as saying they had not heard of any intention to bid and the recent reorganization of the governing body would make it impossible to make a decision in time.

Nan Yong, who presided over China's successful hosting of the 2007 women's World Cup, formally replaced Xie Yalong as head of the CFA in mid January.

It makes a bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics more likely.

Officials previously stated that China would not bid for both the 2018 World Cup finals and the Winter Olympic Games.

The governor of the northeastern province of Heilongjiang said in December that a successful Winter University Games in Harbin this month could be the catalyst for an attempt to attract the Winter Olympics to China in 2018 or 2022.

Up to 10 bids from across three continents are expected to compete for the hosting rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Barring any surprise late entries, world soccer's governing body FIFA is due to publish today a list of interested nations comprising four bids each from Europe and Asia and two from North and Central America.


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