China Expresses Interest in Hosting 2026 World Cup
Chinese soccer chief Wei Di has expressed interest in hosting the 2026 World Cup in China.
Wei’s overwhelming experience in watching a few games in the recently concluded World Cup in South Africa, propelled thoughts of submitting a bid to the General Administration of Sports of China. According to Wei, China has so many fans who are crazy for the sport and they should be given the chance to watch the World Cup on home soil.
Sepp Blatter, the president of FIFA (soccer’s governing body) also conveyed support over China’s intent of bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup, following the success of the Beijing Games. The country did not bid for the said years though.
Wei said China is fully capable of staging a soccer World Cup in terms of stadiums, service and organising ability, adding that there was strong public enthusiasm for sport, with the 2008 Beijing Olympics serving as a successful example.
“With China’s status and influence in the international community, and with our infrastructure no worse than South Africa’s, how could we not be confident enough to bid?” Wei was quoted as saying.
Wei also stated that he is aware of the fact that soccer is still a struggling sport in China and that some people are still against the proposal to bid. But he is very optimistic that major changes can still happen in the next 16 years, before the 2026 World Cup.
Brazil is the next World Cup finals venue in 2014. Before this year ends, FIFA will decide who the host countries will be for the 2018 and 2022 events.