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Chinese sports official ambiguous about hosting 2030 World Cup

Updated: Sep 03,2019 11:09 AM    Xinhua

BEIJING — China has set the goal to bid for a World Cup in the future, but the timetable is yet to be decided, a senior official of China's sports governing body said in a press conference on Sept 2.

When asked about if China will cast a bid to host the 2030 World Cup, Li Jianming, deputy director of China's General Administration of Sport, replied: "We have specified our long-term plan over this issue in the Overall Plan for China's Football Reform and Development (published in 2015). Hosting a World Cup is one of our goals in the plan, as for when, we will analyze and work out the best timing."

The Chinese football team started training in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong province, for the upcoming 2022 World Cup qualifiers in the Maldives on September 10. Included in the squad was Brazilian-born Elkeson, who is expecting his Chinese national team debut as a naturalized player.

According to the Chinese Football Association, so far there are nine naturalized players on the record. However, Li made it clear that China will not rely solely on them.

"We will not build up a national team completely made of naturalized players. Cultivating domestic talents is the core, and we will introduce competitive foreign players in some positions as a supplement. This is a practical solution that is suitable for Chinese football and can satisfy the aspiration of Chinese fans," Li explained.

Li also noted that China will put emphasis on creating a positive football culture and strengthen youth training to lay a solid foundation for better national team performances.