US biggest threat to World Cup bid, says Japan chief
Tokyo: The United States pose the biggest threat to Japan’s prospects of hosting the 2022 World Cup, according to the head of the Asian country’s bid committee.
South Korea, Australia and Qatar are also vying for the hosting rights but Junji Ogura believes the real threat comes from the U.S.
“I’d say it would be America due to the capacity of the stadiums and the number of spectators over the course of the tournament. That would translate into income and income is what FIFA is hoping for,” Ogura was quoted as saying by Kyodo News.
US and Japan were deemed as a medium legal risk by FIFA in their bid evaluation report published earlier this month while Qatar, South Korea and Australia were judged as low.
Japan were praised when they co-hosted the 2002 World Cup with South Korea and Ogura is banking on cutting-edge technology, including 3D telecast of matches, to tilt the balance in his country’s favour when FIFA’s executive committee members vote in Switzerland on Thursday.
“We have placed our focus on a next generation World Cup I think the key will be how well we can explain our bid and how much will be understood.”
Should Japan’s bid succeed, spectators would be able to “hear the players breathing and feel their every heartbeat” in images captured by 200 high-definition cameras.
“Our cutting-edge technology is not fiction and hopefully we will be able to explain well that we can actually make it reality,” said Ogura.