Japan Offers to Host 2022 World Cup

In Other News Sports - April 1st, 2014

Japan would readily take over the reins for the 2022 World Cup, following FIFA’s threat to strip Qatar of hosting rights if the gulf nation does not hastily improve its human rights practices.

Japan Football Association (JFA) president Kuniya Daini said the country would take the initiative to host the World Cup, which would come in close to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“If FIFA [is] look[ing] for an alternative country, we already have the stadiums that would meet the criteria to host it,” Daini said in an interview.

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

Qatar came under scrutiny of FIFA’s ethics committee over suspicion of corruption involving Mohammed bin Hammam, the former president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), who allegedly paid former FIFA Vice President Jack Warner two weeks after the gulf state was awarded hosting rights.

Reports that construction workers building a stadium for the tournament were working in unsafe conditions put the nation under the international spotlight.

The International Trade Union Commission stated that a staggering 1,200 workers have already died since 2010, when Qatar won the bid. Figures obtained by AFP in February showed 450 migrants from India alone had died over the past two years.

Veteran Australian soccer broadcaster Les Murray has called on FIFA to withdraw Qatar’s rights to host the World Cup if it does not address the issue.

“FIFA’s under real pressure here because FIFA is on message about using football to improve people’s lives, so how can you give the hosting rights to a country where the most basic human right is ignored?” said Murray.

By Maesie Bertumen

Image: “World Cup Bid Celebration” by Sean Knoflick/Flickr