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Sports

Bayern to Fulfill Chinese Commitments

German giants Bayern Munich have rescheduled their football trip to China, which was cancelled last year because of the SARS virus outbreak, general manager Uli Hoeness said in an interview with DW-WORLD on Wednesday.

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Hoeness will take Bayern to China and maybe return with a new recruit

Bayern Munich, the Bundesliga record title-holders, have made agreements on matches that were scrapped because of the pneumonia-like illness that killed 800 people, mostly in Hong Kong and China, last year.

"We're trying to go to China next year. We've reached agreement on matches in Shanghai and Beijing," manager Uli Hoeness told DW-WORLD.

"We wanted to fly last year to play, but there was the lung illness. We had already agreed to play the matches but then did not fly because of the illness."

Talent-spotting in the Far East

Hoeness added that Bayern Munich was also on the lookout for a player from the Asian country. "We're looking for a Chinese player. Our supervisors traveled to the 2004 Asian Cup and watched every match," he added.

"But he must be good enough to play for us. We would gladly have a Chinese player, but not one who sits on the bench, one who plays," Hoeness confirmed.

German football bosses have been trying to increase links with their Chinese counterparts for some time. They agreed that the first international match between the two countries will be held in Germany on February 8, 2006, four months before the Germans host the World Cup.

Early difficulties improving

Hoeness also said that Bayern were coming together after the initial difficulties this season. "People thought that now we have a new coach, we'll go out and beat everybody 5-0. This, of course, is not going to happen."

"If a new coach comes in, coaches differently, works differently, then the team must get used to him," Hoeness said. "It is only a question of time before it starts to work."

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