- Associated Press - Thursday, December 2, 2010

BEIJING (AP) - The head of the governing body of Chinese soccer says his country remains interested in hosting the World Cup.

Chinese Football Association chief Wei Di was quoted in the country’s leading sports newspaper Friday saying that Qatar’s winning bid for the 2022 World Cup had not shaken his determination to see China host the event.

By selecting Qatar, FIFA precluded a 2026 bid from China, since the same continent cannot host consecutive World Cups. That would seem to make 2030 the first year for which China has a realistic chance of winning a bid.

Wei told Titan Sports that a choice of date remained open and acknowledged differences of opinion over the matter within the country’s sports bureaucracy and society at large.

Having successfully hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics and this year’s Asian Games, China brings considerable experience to holding major international sports events.