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China set up LOC for FIFA Women's World Cup 2007
Latest Updated by 2006-08-31 08:28:38

The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) for FIFA Women's World Cup China 2007 was set up here on Wednesday with China's top sports official Liu Peng designated the LOC president.

The Local Organizing Committee(LOC) for FIFA Women's World Cup China 2007 is formally set up in Beijing, capital of China, Aug. 30, 2006. The 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup will commence from Sept. 10th to 30th. (Xinhua Photo)

Liu, minister of the State General Administration of Sports, said: "We have 376 days to go before the curtain of the Women's World Cup raises on September 10, 2007. And the organizing work will enter a new and substantial stage after the establishment of the LOC."

FIFA president Joseph S. Blatter conveyed his congratulations through video clips at the news conference: "I am very happy that the 2007 competition will be staged in China for several reasons. As the inaugural tournament was held there, it is, in effect, returning to its roots.

"Furthermore, FIFA was obliged to move the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup from China on account of the SARS epidemic, but promised to stage the subsequent competition on Chinese soil.

"After all, China is considered the cradle of football, as its earliest form - Cuju - saw the light of day there several millennia ago."

A total of 16 teams of the highest level are going to attend next year's Women's World Cup, which will be held from September 10 to 30. Shanghai, Tianjin, Wuhan, Hangzhou and Chengdu are the five host cities of the tournament, and Shanghai will conduct both the opening and closing ceremony.

Chinese women's national team have been one of the leading teams of the world during the past years. The so-called "steel roses" took the World Cup silver medal in 1999, but have never clinched title at the World Cup or the Olympic Games.

China slumped in recent years with sharp contrast to the fast development of European and American women's football. But the new team rallied a little this year as veteran coach Ma Liangxing took over the team again. China won the AFC Women's Asian Cup this July.

"I hope our team can advance to the semi-finals, which means they can play all six matches," said Xie Yalong, vice chairman of Chinese Football Association (CFA).

"We are now at a transitional period. The team have many young players, and reaching last four is not an easy task."

Editor: Donald

By: Source: China View website
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