Positive impressions from Japan
© AFP

A press conference was held in Tokyo in Friday 14 December, with the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2007 providing many of the subjects to come under discussion. Alongside FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, Dr Viacheslav Koloskov, President of the tournament's Organising Committee, Saburo Kawabuchi, President of the Japanese Football Association and former international star Hidetoshi Nakata fielded questions from the assembled journalists.

Nakata brought his career to an end after the FIFA World Cup Germany 2006™ - the third time he had played at world football's greatest tournament - and is now involved in humanitarian aid projects. He will also be present at the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2008 as an ambassador.

Before the press conference got underway, there was a progress report on the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2007 thus far, with positive conclusions being drawn across the board.

Here is a FIFA.comsummary of some of the topics discussed at the press conference:

FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter

On the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2007
"I am very pleased with the success of the FIFA Club World Cup and also that the tournament will also be held here next year. The organisers deserve high praise for the fantastic job they have done. My thanks also go to the spectators and fans who have turned out in such numbers to see the matches. Congratulations to Japanese football, which has been involved in a number of FIFA competitions in 2007 and has established a real presence on the world stage. This reflects very well on the President of Japanese football and his colleagues."

On Hidetoshi Nakata and his involvement in humanitarian aid projects
"Hidetoshi Nakata was an exceptional footballer and is an exceptional person. He would make a great FIFA ambassador, as part of our Football for Hope campaign for example. We will discuss this with him and we hope he will agree to come on board."

Dr Viacheslav Koloskov

On the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2007
"Thus far, the competition has been a complete success, with the impressive crowds a testament to this fact. The organisation is excellent and the fans have been fantastic. My thanks go to the teams taking part and to all who have played a role in making this successful event possible. We very much hope therefore that the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup, which will also be held in Japan, will be just as big a success. On behalf of the entire Organising Committee, I would like to reiterate my thanks to all involved."

Saburo Kawabuchi

On the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2007
"Thanks must go to the FIFA Organising Committee and to the local Organising Committee who have made this competition such an enormous success. It is particularly pleasing that with Urawa Red Diamonds, we had a Japanese team involved in this wonderful event."

Hidetoshi Nakata

On the FIFA Club World Cup and his role as an ambassador
"As a player, I took part in a lot of FIFA events so it is a real pleasure for me to be involved at this wonderful FIFA tournament. It is a fantastic event and I am proud to be part of it and to contribute to its success. It also means a lot to me that the tournament is being held in Japan."

On his involvement in humanitarian aid projects
"I travelled to many countries around the world as a player which made me aware of the power that football has. Football is played throughout the world, even in the smallest of countries. I made new friends through football, and it is a wonderful sport that can solve many of the world's problems. Together with FIFA, I want to be an important part of this and am really looking forward to fulfilling my duties."