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China targets top-two finish at Asian Cup
Updated: 2004-05-24 09:19

Reaching the final is the target of the China men's football team at the Asian Cup, which will be held in July and August in four Chinese cities.

The remark was made by Zhang Jilong, vice-president of the Chinese Football Association (CFA) and chief secretary of the Chinese Organizing Committee (COC) for the AFC Asian Cup at the Asian Cup ticket-launching press conference earlier this week.

"We are on home soil, and we should make the final of the tournament," he said.

"Our people will be assessing their performance, and I don't think they will accept any excuses if they fail."

Samples of the ticket format were also released at the ceremony.

Beijing, Chongqing, Jinan and Chengdu are the four venues for this year's Asian Cup from July 17 to August 7.

It is the first and also the biggest football event of its kind ever hosted in China.

"In order to host the event successfully, we have paid close attention to tickets sales. We (the COC) approve the ticket design and prices while the four areas' organizing committees are in charge of sales," said Lin Weiguo, COC's deputy secretary.

To accord with the pocket books of different fans, prices are divided into four levels ranging from 50 RMB (US$6) to 2000 RMB(US$242).

A number of special tickets will be available for the disabled, who will have special seats to watch the games.

Prices for some matches are likely to be adjusted.

According to Zhang Heng, secretary-general of the Beijing organizing committee, the ticket price for the opening ceremony will be raised.

"This event has been linked to the 50th anniversary of the AFC and the centennial of FIFA. So we have been asked to present related events at the opening ceremony.

"I am confident the AFC Asian Cup China 2004 will be a fitting celebration to commemorate the outstanding achievements of Asian football over the past half century," said Zhang.

Responding to concerns that Chengdu's new stadium will not be ready in time for the tournament, Cai Shimin, deputy secretary of the Chengdu Organizing Committee gave his reassurance that the stadium would be ready.

Chengdu will host the majority of matches in Group C, featuring Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, plus one of the quarter-finals.

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