Japan says it is ready to host the 2022 World Cup if FIFA strips Qatar of the tournament rights over corruption allegations, it has been reported.
Japan Football Association (JFA) president Kuniya Daini said the country would step in if required.
“If FIFA look for an alternative country, we already have the stadiums that would meet the criteria to host it,” he said in an interview.
“We have the Olympics in 2020. If there is a chance, we’d like to do it, although I don’t know how likely that would be.”
Japan, one of the countries that lost out to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup, co-hosted the 2002 World Cup with Asian neighbours South Korea.
The process which led to Qatar hosting the 2022 finals has come under increasing scrutiny and is currently the subject of an investigation by FIFA’s ethics committee, headed by former US district attorney Michael Garcia.
It comes amid ongoing debate over whether the event should be staged during the Gulf state’s notoriously hot summer months.
Earlier this month, the Daily Telegraph published claims of new evidence of payments made from a Qatari account controlled by Mohammed bin Hammam, the former president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), to Jack Warner, the former FIFA vice-president, two weeks after the Gulf state was awarded the right to host football’s showpiece tournament.
Warner, a Trinidadian, resigned from FIFA in 2012 following an investigation that found him to have received $1.2m from Bin Hammam’s company, Kemco.
The newspaper has also published reports over Qatar’s treatment of foreign construction workers, with figures obtained showing that 450 migrants from India alone had died over the past two years.
However, the head of Qatar’s World Cup delivery committee, Nasser al Khater, said earlier this month “there has not been a single injury or death on the World Cup projects”, saying “it’s not possible to have 400 deaths when you are still digging a hole in the ground”.
“Contrary to what the international media says there has not been a single injury or death on the World Cup projects,” he was quoted as saying.
“It’s not possible to have 400 deaths when you are still digging a hole in the ground so I would like to make sure this matter is put to rest.”