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New FIFA sponsor Wanda has sights on World Cup in China



AFP/Getty Images

BEIJING (AP) Chinese conglomerate Wanda says becoming a FIFA World Cup top-tier sponsor gives it potential to help decide where future editions of the event will be staged.

A Wanda news release says becoming one of the major sponsors for world football’s governing body will leave it “better placed to play a role in the bidding process to host major football events such as the World Cup.”

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Chinese leaders say they want to host the World Cup, adding the world’s biggest football event to the 2008 Summer Beijing Olympics and the upcoming 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

Property and cinema giant Dalian Wanda Group’s partnership with FIFA runs through the 2030 World Cup, which China is considered likely to bid for. Wanda has been moving aggressively into sports promotion in recent years.