China mulls over bidding for the 2018 World Cup

As the FIFA 2006 World Cup trophy arrived in China on its global exhibition circuit, sentiment is reportedly firmly in favour of bidding for the 2018 event. Citing sources inside the Chinese Football Association, a report from Sports Sina appeared to confirm the country's resolution. "This is China's maiden involvement in bidding for the World Cup and the CFA is making active preparations," read the report, adding, "China is very likely to win out in the competition if all factors are taken into consideration."

According to Fan Xuan of China Daily, the report drew wide attention in a nation that "craves for football success" despite a long list of flops in international tournaments. "China's decision to bid comes from three aspects: support from FIFA chairman Sepp Blatter; support from China's top sports administration; and the experience the country will gain after the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games," the report continued.

However, a contradictory report appeared the same day on the same site, citing a top CFA official. "I have yet to hear of this. The decision to bid for the World Cup is not something someone inside FA could make," said Nan Yong, vice president of the CFA. "It is up to China's sports administration or even higher up in the government."