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Blatter 'open' to Women's World Cup in Japan
FIFA president Sepp Blatter said Saturday that he was open to quake-stricken Japan hosting the Women's World Cup after having proven its mettle for other top-shelf football events.
Following Japan's victory in the last instalment of the tournament in Germany in July, Blatter said bringing it to the champion's home turf was a welcome idea, but he stopped short of giving a firm commitment.
Japan and South Korea hosted the 2002 World Cup, while the Club World Cup is currently underway in Japan.
"Japan has proven its organisational capacities for international competitions," he told a press briefing in the northeastern city of Matsushima, an area affected by Japan's March quake and tsunami.
"So yes it would be a good to hold other events here. Lets wait for the next executive committee of FIFA and maybe we will have another competition to offer to Japan."
Responding to questions about whether Japan could host the women's tournament or the Under-20 World Cup, Blatter added: "Let's not talk too much in the future when the decision hasn't been made."
His comment's came a day after Japan's football chief said it will pass on the 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.
The 2015 Women's World Cup is being hosted by Canada.
Blatter was visiting one of several football centres in Japan damaged by the disasters earlier this year, with FIFA donating a total of $6 million to the country's football association to help finance rebuilding efforts.
Japan was hit by a 9.0-magnitude underwater earthquake and tsunami on March 11 which left 20,000 people dead or missing, devastated large areas of its northeast and sparked a nuclear crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant.
Describing the widespread damage as "terrible", Blatter said "it goes under your skin when you see it."
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