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Blatter: China Can Bid for 2018 World Cup
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World soccer governing body FIFA president Joseph Blatter said in Doha Friday that bidding for the World Cup 2018 is open to China and all other Asian countries.

"The bid for World Cup 2018 is not open yet. But under the rotation system, China have the chance to bid for the hosting rights of the World Cup," said Blatter, who is here to attend the opening ceremony of the Doha Asian Games this evening.

"The World Cup 2002 was co-hosted by South Korea and Japan, and for 2006 it was held in Germany. South Africa will host the 2010 World Cup. And 2014 will be a South American country to hold the World Cup."

"China are able to organize any big events. Do remember that in 1995 we held the first women's World Cup in China and that was a big success."

Blatter said that when he came to China more than 10 years ago, he saw thousands of bicycles in the streets, but things have changed greatly and the streets are filled with modern cars and motorcycles.

"I'm happy that so many countries have shown their interest in hosting the World Cup. But 2012 is still far away, and until then can those countries start the bidding procedure," said Blatter. 

(Xinhua News Agency December 2, 2006)

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