After winning the right to host the 2008 Olympic Games, China has set its sights on hosting the soccer World Cup. Attending a meeting of the Asian Football Confederation in Kuala Lumpur, Zhang Jilong, vice-chairman of the China Football Association (CFA), told the Singapore newspaper Lian He Zao Bao that conditions were ripe for China to stage the world's most important soccer tournament. 'Next year the cup will be staged in Korea and Japan, in 2006 in Germany and in 2010 in Africa,' he said. 'Under the conditions set by Fifa [the world soccer governing body], the CFA would actively consider applying for the World Cup.' China may have to wait a long time. Under Fifa rules, the cups in 2014 and 2018 are likely to be staged in Latin America and Europe, because it is supposed to go to different continents in rotation. On Sunday, China qualified for the World Cup for the first time, after 44 years and seven attempts, by beating Oman 1-0, setting off nationwide celebrations. 'Our final aim is not to stage the World Cup but to raise the standard of football in China,' Mr Zhang said. China plays the final two games of its qualifying group against Qatar in Shenyang tonight and Uzbekistan in Tashkent on Friday. The draw for the groups of the 32 nations competing in the World Cup will take place in Pusan, South Korea, on December 1. The South Korean organising committee said if China played its games in South Korea, between 60,000 and 100,000 Chinese fans would attend. But if China's games are held in Japan, Tokyo is likely to be reluctant to give so many visas to Chinese, fearing they may not return home.