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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Russia hands over hosting mantle of World Cup to Qatar

MOSCOW Russia (Xinhua) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday officially transferred the authority to host the next FIFA World Cup tournament to Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the Kremlin said.

At a ceremony held at the Kremlin’s Armorial Hall, Putin handed over a red and white World Cup football to the emir of Qatar, where the next world football championship will be held from November 21 to December 18, 2022, according to a Kremlin statement.

Putin said Russia is proud of its achievements in hosting the World Cup and is happy to share its experience with Qatar.

“I am sure that our friends from Qatar will be able to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022 at the same high level. And, of course, we are ready to share our experience of hosting the World Cup this year with our friends in Qatar,” Putin said.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino also attended the ceremony, the Kremlin said.

The final match of the 2018 tournament will be held later on Sunday at the Luzhniki stadium in the Russian capital city Moscow, with France playing against Croatia.

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UPDATES:

2019 FIFA Club World Cup has “big chance” to
be held in China, Infantino has told Jack Ma

MOSCOW Russia (Xinhua) -- The 2019 FIFA Club World Cup has “a big chance” to be held in China, FIFA President Infantino has agreed in a meeting with Jack Ma, Executive Chairman of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, the tournament’s top sponsor.

Alibaba’s sports arm Alisports CEO Zhang Dazhong, who was present at the meeting, told Xinhua, “The meeting lasted more than one hour. It was a very exciting dialogue between Chinese entrepreneurs and president of world football’s governing body.

“I believe that the FIFA Club World Cup is not far from China. It is very likely that the 2019 and 2020 tournaments will both go to China, although we still need to go through some procedures,” Zhang said.

“FIFA supports China to host the Club World Cup and FIFA is also looking to expand the Club World Cup, which will be a great chance for China,” he said.

The Club World Cup is an annual tournament which features all its six confederations’ champions plus the host nation’s league winner. The 2018 FIFA Club World Cup will be held in UAE in December.

FIFA signed an eight-year partnership deal in 2015 with Alibaba E-Auto, the car manufacturing brand of Alibaba, which was the first new sponsor contracted by FIFA since September 2013.

Last November Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba, was selected as the “Presenting Partner of the FIFA Club World Cup”. The partnership will last until 2022, with Alibaba Cloud, the biggest provider of public cloud services in China, investing millions of dollars in the event.

             

 

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