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Wednesday, 14 March 2018 | MYT 7:30 AM

FIFA ratchets up China profile with Weibo account

FIFA, football's world governing body, ramped up its presence in China on March 12 by launching an account on Weibo, the country's equivalent of Twitter which has 392 million monthly active users.

China has never won or hosted a World Cup but President Xi Jinping is a football fan and has vowed that the world's most populous country will do both, while a growing number of Chinese firms are sealing sponsorships with FIFA.

The @FIFA account on Weibo comes even though China failed to reach this summer's World Cup in Russia.

"FIFA is very excited to launch its digital presence in China where social media is an important means of communication, especially with young people," chief commercial officer Philippe Le Floc'h said in a statement.

"Our new dedicated platforms will allow us to get closer to Chinese football fans and find out what the beautiful game means to them."

Numerous European football clubs and star players all have Weibo accounts as a means to reach football fans in China, where the sport is growing fast but Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are all banned. — AFP Relaxnews