China president Xi Jinping to meet FIFA chief Gianni Infantino as country hopes to host a football World Cup

China will not be eligible to bid for the 2026 tournament because of FIFA's policy of rotating between host continental governing bodies.

AFP June 13, 2017 12:31:45 IST
China president Xi Jinping to meet FIFA chief Gianni Infantino as country hopes to host a football World Cup

Beijing: China's football-mad President Xi Jinping will meet FIFA chief Gianni Infantino in Beijing on Wednesday as the world's most populous nation harbours ambitions of hosting the World Cup.

Xi will greet the president of football's world governing body at the palatial Great Hall of the People.

China president Xi Jinping to meet FIFA chief Gianni Infantino as country hopes to host a football World Cup

File image of China President Xi Jinping. Reuters

"We hope we can strengthen our cooperation on football with international organisations, including FIFA, and also with other countries," foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a regular press briefing.

"As to whether China will host the World Cup, this is a dream shared by many Chinese. We also hope we can see that happen as soon as possible," Lu said.

The meeting follows widespread speculation that China will bid to host the event either in 2030 or 2034.

Xi wants his country to host the global football extravaganza and also hopes China's national team can one day win the sport's most prestigious trophy.

But China, who languish at 82nd in FIFA's world rankings just below Benin and the Faroe Islands, look certain to miss out on qualification for Russia 2018.

China have appeared in just one World Cup, in 2002, where they lost all three group matches and failed to score a goal.

Qatar, who are part of the Asian Football Confederation, are due to host the 2022 World Cup, meaning China will not be eligible to bid for the 2026 tournament because of FIFA's policy of rotating between host continental governing bodies.

Chinese Football Association vice president Zhang Jian, a member of the FIFA Council which devises its global strategy, said last year that he would back a Chinese World Cup in 2030.

Three major Chinese companies have signed sponsorship deals with FIFA in the space of a year, fuelling speculation that China is preparing a World Cup bid.

But the Asian giant already faces stiff competition from Europe's football governing body UEFA, which is eyeing the 2030 tournament.

Updated Date:

also read

Premier League: Pep Guardiola adamant winning domestic title harder than Champions League
Sports

Premier League: Pep Guardiola adamant winning domestic title harder than Champions League

Manchester City are on the brink of taking their fourth domestic title in five seasons, with victory at home to Aston Villa in their final game of the season enough for them to be crowned champions

FA Cup final: Liverpool's 'mentality monsters' beat Chelsea on penalties, keep quadruple hopes alive
Sports

FA Cup final: Liverpool's 'mentality monsters' beat Chelsea on penalties, keep quadruple hopes alive

Liverpool have won both English domestic cups in the same season for the first time since 2000-01, with Jurgen Klopp getting his hands on the famous old trophy for the first time.

Serie A: Relegated Venezia frustate AS Roma's European ambitions
Sports

Serie A: Relegated Venezia frustate AS Roma's European ambitions

AS Roma are sixth and battling for a Europa League place with Fiorentina just one point behind.