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Japan ready to take over 2022 FIFA World Cup

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Tuesday, April 01, 2014

TOKYO - Japan is ready to hold the 2022 World Cup if FIFA strips Qatar of hosting rights over corruption allegations, the country's football chief says.

Japan Football Association (JFA) president Kuniya Daini said the country, whose capital Tokyo will stage the 2020 Olympics, would step in if required.

"If FIFA look for an alternative country, we already have the stadiums that would meet the criteria to host it," he said in an interview.

"We have the Olympics in 2020. If there is a chance, we'd like to do it, although I don't know how likely that would be."

The chance of Qatar losing hosting rights appears remote despite an investigation by FIFA's ethics committee, headed by former US district attorney Michael Garcia, into the much-criticised bidding process.

Qatar has also come under fire for its treatment of foreign construction workers, with figures obtained by AFP in February showing that 450 migrants from India alone had died over the past two years — about 20 a month.

And there is a row over whether to hold the Qatar World Cup in the intense heat of the desert summer or in winter, which is mid-season for many domestic leagues.

Japan, one of the countries that lost out to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup, has experience of organising the tournament after co-hosting the 2002 edition with Asian neighbours South Korea.

Japan reached the knock-out stages that year and again in 2010, and Daini said the team hopes to take another step forward by making the quarter-finals at this year's competition in Brazil.

"We are looking to perform better than we did the last time," said Daini at the JFA's Tokyo offices. "In South Africa we got to the last 16 so that means this time we want to reach the quarter-finals.

"That would be a successful result, but first we have to advance from the group stage."





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