At the end of a three-day visit, as part of a FIFA Inspection Tour to the Bidding Countries for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups™, a press briefing was held at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Tokyo.
“We have had a very professional three-day inspection," said Harold Mayne-Nicholls, Head of the Inspection Tour group. "Japan presented to us a very balanced project, featuring state-of-the-art stadiums and environmental and technical world-class solutions.”
During the three days the FIFA Delegation inspected various sites in Osaka and Tokyo, including Saitama Stadium, optional team hotels, potential FIFA Fan Fest sites and locations for various side events and functions. On Wednesday evening the Delegation attended a dinner hosted by Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan, Sports Minister Tatsuo Kawabata, and key Bid Committee members from politics, business and football. Naoto Kan underlined the government’s commitment to the bid cause.
Motoaki Inukai, Chairman of the Japan 2022 Bid Committee and President of the Japanese Football Association (JFA), emphasised in front of the media the good outcome of the inspection tour: “Time was limited, but I am pretty pleased, that we were able to show that our stadiums and infrastructure meet all international standards, including environmental aspects, and the whole country is behind the bid.
"We really want the FIFA World Cup to come back to our country. I am confident that we were able to get this message across.”
The visit in Japan was the first one on the Inspection Tour, which will last until mid-September. The next stop is Korea Republic, from 22 to 25 July.