TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan has 13 prospective venues should the country win the right to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cups, the country’s bid leaders said on Thursday.
Japan has bid for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups despite initially saying it would only do so if Tokyo won the vote to stage the 2016 Olympics. Rio de Janeiro was picked to host those Games.
The Japan Football Association (JFA) plans to use nine of the 10 venues from the 2002 World Cup which the country co-hosted with South Korea.
Tokyo, which did not host matches at the 2002 tournament, has put forward two stadiums with another in Toyota, near Nagoya, and another on the outskirts of Osaka.
Soccer’s governing body FIFA will announce the hosts for both the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in December.
New FIFA rules require World Cup host countries to build a stadium with a minimum capacity of 80,000 for the opening game and final.
The JFA had planned to use the proposed 100,000-seater waterfront Olympic stadium had Tokyo won the 2016 Olympic vote.
Yokohama, venue for the 2002 World Cup final, has Japan’s biggest stadium with a capacity of 70,000. Osaka is planning to build an 80,000-seater venue to solve the problem.
Japan faces challenges from England, Australia, Russia, the United States and joint bids from the Netherlands and Belgium and Spain and Portugal for both 2018 and 2022.
South Korea, Qatar and Indonesia are bidding for 2022 only.
This year’s World Cup will be held in South Africa while Brazil will host the 2014 tournament.
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