TOKYO (AP) - A FIFA delegation praised Japan’s planning and advanced infrastructure after completing an inspection of the country’s bid to host the 2022 World Cup.
The FIFA inspection team, headed by Chile Football Federation president Harold Mayne-Nicholls, toured stadium and broadcasting facilities in Osaka and Tokyo from Tuesday to Thursday.
“We must say that it is a very balanced product,” Mayne-Nicholls said at a press conference on Thursday. “It mixes football traditions with modern stadiums, new technology and environmental projects integrated with the world.”
Japan, which co-hosted the 2002 World Cup with South Korea, is competing with Australia, Qatar, South Korea and the United States to host the 2022 World Cup.
“We got them to see an environment in which you could play fantastic football,” said Motoaki Inukai, president of the Japan Football Association.
Japan’s government has endorsed the nation’s bid to host the 2022 World Cup, vowing to cooperate in bringing the showcase tournament to the country.
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan hosted the FIFA inspection team at a dinner on Wednesday.
“The Japanese government has given its official backing and approval for the 2022 bid,” Kan said. “We are supporting the bid with the full resources of the nation. Should we win the bid, the Japanese government will take all measures that FIFA deems necessary for the successful hosting of the event.”
The FIFA team next travels to South Korea and Australia.
The host will be chosen on Dec. 2.
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