NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News  » Sports » FIFA to fly kung fu abbot to final

FIFA to fly kung fu abbot to final

July 05, 2006 12:10 IST
The abbot of China's ancient Shaolin Temple will fly to Germany to watch the World Cup final at the invitation of FIFA president Sepp Blatter, state media reported on Wednesday.

The FIFA invitation came thanks to the growing influence of the Shaolin Temple and Shaolin kung fu, Xinhua news agency quoted abbot Shi Yongxin as saying.

The temple opened a Shaolin "cultural centre" in Germany in 2001, Xinhua said.

The 1,500 year-old Buddhist temple in China's central province of Henan is famous as the birthplace of Shaolin kung fu but is best known in the West as the training ground of David Carradine's main character, Kwai Chang Caine, in the 1970s

"Kung Fu" television series.

Much of the temple's high profile can be attributed to Abbot Shi, who has applied to protect the Shaolin brand with international trademarks and upgraded the image and the facilities of the temple.

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the temple in March.

Shi's enthusiasm for commercialism has even spawned plans for a reality TV show aimed at unearthing the next generation of kung fu stars.

The World Cup final is in Berlin on Sunday, when Italy will take on the winner of Wednesday's second semi-final between Portugal and France.

© Copyright 2018 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.