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Tuesday, 14th February 2012
In Events In Japan, Japan Sports News, Sports,

Japan to host the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup

Japan is to host this year's Under-20s Women's World Cup 2012 following a joint announcement by FIFA and the Japan Football Association (JFA).

Uzbekistan had originally been proposed as the host nation, but logistical and technical problems have forced the tournament to relocate to Japan.

Last week, FIFA officially named Japan as the replacement host following the submission of the necessary formal documents.

Announcing the decision, president of the JFA, Junji Ogura, said: "It is with extreme pleasure that we can formally confirm Japan will host the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup.

"It is a big challenge but also an excellent opportunity to maintain the momentum and interest in the country following the world title the Nadeshiko won in Germany last summer."

The Japan women's football team emerged as winners in last year's FIFA Women's World Cup following a penalty shoot-out victory of the USA.

Women's football in Japan was given a major boost following the World Cup, with the country's captain Homare Sawa adding the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year crown to her list of honours and coach Norio Sasaki picking up the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football award.

Increasingly, the nation is being recognised by FIFA as a top location for competitions, with the 2011 World Club Cup held there in December.

Mr Ogura added that football is on an upward curve in Japan, with two FIFA tournaments being held in the country this year, including the 2012 World Club Cup that was won by Lionel Messi's Barcelona last year.

FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke added that he was confident that the JFA would organise a great FIFA women's competition, the first time it has done so.

"Japan has a proven track record in hosting FIFA competitions," he said.

Ten of the 16 U-20 sides have already qualified for the event and all eyes will be on Germany, the current holders after beating Nigeria in the 2010 final.

The event takes place between August 19th and September 8th.

Written by Kimberley Homer

Related news stories:
Homare Sawa wins the FIFA Women's World Player of the Year (10th January 2012)