Tokyo (AFP) – Japan is ready to hold the 2022 World Cup if FIFA strips Qatar of hosting rights over corruption allegations, the country’s football chief told AFP.
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.”
To say there is uncertainty surrounding the 2022 tournament would be an understatement. Reports of migrant worker deaths, questions over whether the tournament will be moved from the summer to the winter, and FIFA independent ethic’s committee head Michael Garcia’s investigation allegations of corruption related to the Qatar bid have all kept alive the possibility the World Cup will be moved.
This could spur a shadow bidding war for the tournament, as friendly nations make polite, public overtures to FIFA over their suitability to takeover on a moment’s notice. This could continue for some time until FIFA makes a definitive statement over a “past the point of return” date for the World Cup, perhaps not a bad idea considering the endless controversy over the tournament.
Until then, expect many other nations to chime in to make unofficial ‘bids’ for 2022.