China’s 2026 World Cup Bid: Watch Out

The news that China is likelyto bid to host the 2026 World Cup brings to mind a daunting number of points related to that possibility: a vast country still to be truly conquered by the game, lacking a strong domestic league, but one that (in raw television viewing numbers) already has a massive audience for the World Cup; the corruption seeped into the game in China; the politics of China; the poor performance of the Chinese national men’s team; and much more.

Fortunately for us, Alex Usher reviewed these issues for us back in 2007 when China was in the running for the 2018/2022 World Cup hosting rights, and as someone who’d spent some time there, was able to cover most of this in a way that remains relevant today. So go read that: his conclusion remains relevant, “As long as the Chinese FA learns to play politics well over the next four years and courts its CAF counterparts properly (perhaps in conjunction with Chinese companies who are making real inroads all across Africa), a potential Chinese bid has to be seen as one of the front runners.”

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