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Football: Fifa finds a field of dreams in China

Published on Jun 5, 2014 11:59 AM

ZIBO, China (AFP) - Images of a beaming Fifa President Sepp Blatter and a small blue certificate in the Chinese city of Zibo proclaim it as the birthplace of football, to the fury of English experts.

A map in Zibo’s Qi State History Museum shows a thin line stretching from China to Egypt, then to Greece, Rome and France, before finishing in England, commonly known as the home of football after the rules were codified there in the 19th century.

The track represents the path of football’s development, according to the museum, with the certificate - signed by Blatter - honouring China as “the cradle of the earliest forms of football”.

But international experts are sceptical of such claims, pointing to a “tenuous” link between the ancient Chinese game of cuju and the modern sport, and questioning Fifa's motives.

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