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Volume 6 No. 212
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Samoura: China Is A Major Player In FIFA's Global Development Strategy

China Central TV's recent acquisition of exclusive rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups is "more evidence of the game's growing popularity" in the country -- and "FIFA knows it," according to Sun Xiaochen of CHINA DAILY. FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura said, "It's no secret that China has a key role in our strategy to develop football around the globe. It must play. How could we even dream of achieving this without focusing on 1.4 billion fans and fans-to-be of the beautiful game in China?" FIFA set a target of involving 60% of the world's population in football through '26, and developing the grassroots game in China "forms a key part of that strategy." Samoura added, "China is only starting to unseal its potential and its power to further increase the game's popularity. This is a beautiful blossoming process" (CHINA DAILY, 11/15).