Chinese delight

TERRY JONES -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:01 AM ET

SHANGHAI, China -- Follow that act, Canada.

Or, Germany.

One or the other will almost certainly play host to the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.

And, after this, good luck with that.

China 2007 opened here last night and the event advertised as a welcome the world warm-up for the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

Based on this taste test, get ready for China to wow the world.

Outstanding organization and a brilliant opening ceremonies left you thirsting for much more of the same when the Olympics open 11 months from now.

TOUGH TO TOP

At the same time, Canada and Germany discovered this is going to be tough to top.

The bid submissions will be made here this weekend and voted on in a month.

Five nations - Australia, Canada, Germany, France and Peru - were supposed to be in the bidding. But France dropped out to prevent European vote splitting.

Canada's bid is based on the concept that this World Cup was planned for our nation. SARS forced the relocation of the tournament from China to the U.S.A. and China was awarded 2007 instead.

The U-20 men's event was given to Canada instead and broke all attendance records despite a host team which didn't win a game or score a goal.

FIFA boss Sepp Blatter was quoted on the CSA website as saying his vote was for Canada. But FIFA quickly moved to have the statement removed.

Germany, not incidentally, the home of the defending champion Women's World Cup team which opened the event here last night with an event record for one-sided wins - 11-0 - over Argentina.

The Germans believe with two Women's World Cups held in Asia, two in the USA and the only other in Sweden a dozen years ago, it's time to bring it to Europe again.

They've even announced a plan to give the games to the places which weren't selected to host the highly successful World Cup in Germany last year. There have been no less than 30 bids for hosting an event they haven't won yet.

It'll be interesting bidding. But is the next one the one you really want?

This just began and, other than the first game itself and a pitch which yielded giant divots, it's already ballistic.

You'd think it might get lost in this city of 13 million. Super Bowls get lost in L.A.That definitely hasn't happened.

BANNERS AND BILLBOARDS

There are thousands of banners hanging from light standards. The entire area near the stadium has been creatively decorated. Murals dress up construction sites and massive sponsors billboards are scattered around the city. Maybe the best touch is a large video screen on a boat which travels up and down the Hangpu River along the Bund where old Shanghai sits in complete contrast to the spectacular night lights of Pudong's modern skyline.

Cartoon images of Rongrong, the blue-eyed mascot with two plaits formed in her hair in the form of soccer balls, are everywhere.

In Hongkou Stadium last night there were five video boards to watch German goal replays, one in each corner plus a larger one at one end of the field.

But it was the opening ceremonies, featuring grade school girls, stealing the show in a delightful "cartoon dance" featuring 48 little girls in soccer ball costumes and twice as many dressed as soccer boots, one team in red and the other in yellow.

Umbrellas turned into giant red roses in a tribute to China's Steel Roses national team. The Chinese created the first official song for the event. Giant flags of all the nations flipped over created a massive official logo. There were several other beautifully choreographed, brilliantly produced numbers all punctuated by fireworks.

China, in the 25-minute Olympic ceremonies tease, took everything to another level. The bottom line is if Canada wins this thing - and if they don't it's a virtual lock, it'll be coming to our nation in 2015 - will be a massive job to even come close to matching the success of the hosting happening here.


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