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Chinese fans offered a breath of 'World Cup air'

Written by: Staff
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BEIJING, June 29 (Reuters) A Chinese entrepreneur who once tried to sell land on the moon is hoping to cash in on China's obsession with the World Cup by offering fans bags of stadium air.

Li Jie, who describes himself as chief executive of the Lunar Embassy to China, is selling his ''World Cup air'' for 50 yuan (6.25 dollar) a bag.

''The air was packed at the World Cup venues while the workers were cutting the grass before matches,'' Li told the Beijing Daily Messenger. ''You can still smell the grass.'' Li suggests soccer enthusiasts who are not able to make the trip to Germany hang the green plastic bag around their necks and breathe in the air while watching World Cup matches on television.

''Whichever stadium you like, I can give you its air,'' he added.

Li's attempt to sell plots of land on the moon for 300 yuan an acre was shut down by officials last year and his new scheme may also fall victim to rules against speculation and profiteering.

''My 'World Cup air' is for the soccer fans,'' a defiant Li told the paper. ''It is a kind of sporting product.'' Local officials said they were investigating the company.

REUTERS PDS ND1626

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