Japan to host U-20 women’s World Cup


Japan will host the under-20 women’s football World Cup this summer, a year after grabbing the senior women’s title, officials said Wednesday. The U-20 tournament was originally scheduled to be staged by Uzbekistan but world football’s governing body FIFA determined in December that the central Asian country was not ready in “logistical and technical” areas.
FIFA has asked Japan to host the event from August 18-September 8 on condition that the Japanese government guarantees it.
“The government for its part wants to help organise a successful tournament especially after we saw Nadeshiko Japan’s great achievement,” Tenzo Okumura, vice minister of education, told reporters. He was referring to the Japanese women’s national team, nicknamed Nadeshiko after a frilly pink flower seen in Japan as a symbol of feminine elegance which belies their tenacity. They became the first Asian country to win the senior women’s World Cup title last year. Japan has not hosted a FIFA-sanctioned women’s football event before but Japan Football Association president Junji Ogura earlier expressed hope of staging the senior World Cup in the future.
Okumura said Tokyo’s National Stadium would be the main venue for the U-20 event but some of its matches may be staged in an area hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami disaster last March.