The sight of an Englishman lifting the World Cup trophy this summer was already a distant dream for many England supporters.But now those chances have taken an even bigger hit - thanks to custom officials in China.The country has thwarted more than 1,000 shots at glory by seizing boxes rammed full of fake trophies at a warehouse.

The 1,020 statuettes were found in the city of Yiwu, Zhejiang province, which has among the busiest export trades in the world.The fakes, which from afar bore a remarkable resemblance to the real thing, were due to be exported to Libya.The General Administration of Customs of China launched a campaign in April to crack down on football-related copyright theft ahead of the tournament in June.

Brazil’s World Cup is expected to make huge sums in merchandising, and China has a valuable dog in the fight: its factories have manufactured a million versions of the official armadillo mascot.England captain Steven Gerrard will hope to lift the real thing in the summer, with the Three Lions pitted in a group containing Italy, Costa Rica and Uruguay to begin their campaign in Brazil. – [Daily Mail] -