Japan considers dropping out of 2018 WCup bid race

Japan is considering withdrawing from the 2018 World Cup bidding race to concentrate on getting the 2022 tournament.

“We are considering making an announcement,” bid spokesman Tetsu Hirai told The Associated Press on Friday.

Japan would join Indonesia, Qatar and South Korea as Asian bidders for 2022.

They believe the 2018 tournament will go to Europe because South Africa is hosting in 2010 and Brazil has the 2014 finals.

The World Cup, which was first played in 1930, has never before left Europe for two straight editions.

England, Russia, Belgium-Netherlands and Spain-Portugal, along with the United States and Australia, all want to host the World Cup in either 2018 or 2022.

The 10 bid teams launched their promotional films at an exhibition in Cape Town on Friday set up by tournament organizer FIFA.

FIFA’s executive committee will choose the 2018 and 2022 hosts in December next year.

Eight of the 24 voting members represent the European confederation UEFA, while Asia’s four includes representatives from Japan, Qatar and South Korea.

Asia has hosted the World Cup only once, when Japan and South Korea combined to stage the 2002 finals.

“Now we believe we can co-host the World Cup with all the world.” Japan bid leader Kohzo Tashima told The AP.