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Japan hopes to bring back Club World Cup

Japan hopes to host the Club World Cup in 2015 and 2016 after a two-year break as this year's edition proved to be a success with strong attendance figures, press reports said Monday

AFP, Monday 19 Dec 2011
Spain's FC Barcelona defender Carles Puyol holds up the trophy with teammates after winning over Brazil's Santos FC during the final at the Club World Cup soccer tournament in Yokohama (Photo: AP)

The 2011 tournament concluded in Yokohama on Sunday with European champions Barcelona overwhelming South America's top club Santos 4-0 in the final before a sell-out 68,000 spectators at Nissan Stadium.

The showpiece event will also be staged in Japan next year and then Morocco in 2013 and 2014.

Japan, which co-hosted the 2002 World Cup with South Korea, staged the club championship from 2005, when it was first organised in its current formula, to 2008. The United Arab Emirates staged it in the next two years.

"More than 300,000 people attended this year's tournament. It attracted 200,000 people to the UAE last year," Japan Football Association President Junji Ogura told media after the final.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter praised the turnout as "wonderful," Ogura added, according to the Daily Sports.

"I want to work hard to help bring the event back to Japan. l want to let people in Japan see how the world's top clubs are," Ogura said.

Ogura has earlier said Japan would pass on bidding for the Club World Cup in 2013 and 2014 to give itself a better chance of hosting the Women's World Cup and other major tournaments.

FIFA, football's world governing body, has decided to move the venue of next year's under-20 Women's World Cup to Japan from Uzbekistan due to "logistical and technical" problems.

Japan will be formally confirmed as the new host pending government approval, according to the official FIFA website.

Japan won the Women's World Cup in Germany last July, lifting the country's mood after a massive earthquake and tsunami in March devastated its northeast and sparked a major nuclear crisis.

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© 2010 Ahram Online.