Tokyo: A FIFA inspection committee has started a visit to the 12 countries vying to host the World Cup in 2018 and 2022.
The visit to Japan Monday marks the start of a long tour to evaluate countries, which will conclude in Qatar in September, after the other seven candidates are visited and evaluated, Prensa Latina reported.
Each city will be visited for at least for four days and the work of the FIFA commission is to see if they are really ready, and evaluate the conditions of their sites, facilities, infrastructure and other aspects.
The commission is headed by Chilean Soccer Federation president Harold Mayne Nicholls.
A new stadium will be built in Osaka - provisionally called Osaka Ecology Stadium - with a capacity for 83,000 people, and it could be the site of the 2022 World Cup’s opening and final matches if Japan is finally elected as the host.
Australia, South Korea, Qatar, the US and Japan are the candidates for the 2022 World Cup, while Britain, the US, Russia, Australia, Belgium/Holland (dual candidature) and Spain/Portugal are bidding for 2018.
Spain/Portugal will be evaluated Aug 30-Sep 2, the US Sep 6-9, and Qatar Sep 13-17.
The final decision will be made Dec 2 in Zurich, Switzerland.