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Sports

China export hub virus shutdown threatens World Cup orders

Nervous buyers around world are canceling purchases of balls, jerseys

SHANGHAI -- Soccer fans keen to get their hands on a World Cup jersey before the global tournament could be out of luck as a COVID-19 outbreak shuts down a key Chinese manufacturing hub.

The eastern city of Yiwu, known as the world's biggest wholesale market for small goods, is a major producer of balls, jerseys, keychains and other branded paraphernalia for the Nov. 20-Dec.18 tournament being held in Qatar.

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