Blatter says Club World Cup to be in Japan

Sepp Blatter says it’s safe to hold the Club World Cup in Japan
as scheduled later this year.

Blatter was in Tokyo on Monday to meet with Japanese football
officials, who assured the FIFA president that Japan can stage the
Dec. 8-18 tournament despite concerns about high radiation levels
following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

”We are confident Japan can organize this competition,”
Blatter told a news conference. ”We look forward with confidence
and optimism that this tournament will be a good one.”

Japan Football Association president Junji Ogura assured Blatter
that safety won’t be a concern.

Several international sporting events, including figure
skating’s world championships, were canceled after the 9.0
earthquake and tsunami triggered a nuclear crisis at the Fukushima
Dai-ichi plant 150 miles (241 kilometers) north of Tokyo.

Leaking radiation has prompted the evacuation of thousands of
residents near the plant, and the struggle to contain the reactors
is expected to continue into next year.

Japan previously held the tournament, which brings together the
champions from FIFA’s six confederations, from 2005 to 2008. The
last two tournaments have been hosted by the United Arab
Emirates.

Blatter also met with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan earlier
Monday during his one-day visit to Tokyo.