27 August 2012 – FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Japan 2012 Matches Begin at Iconic Tokyo 1964 Legacy Venue
Tokyo 2020 welcomed yet another top international sporting event
yesterday, this time several group-stage matches of FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Japan 2012, again demonstrating its organisational expertise and passion for international sport.
The matches in Tokyo, which begin yesterday, are being held in Kasumigaoka National Stadium, the iconic main stadium of the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games, site of many of the world’s greatest sporting events over the past half century.
After FIFA awarded Japan the rights to host the competition in February this year, the country arranged the 21-day football tournament in venues nationwide, demonstrating its know-how and experience in hosting large-scale sporting events. In fact, Japan is set to host three major FIFA events within a 12-month period – the current U-20 competition and two FIFA Club World Cups, the second of which will take place in December.
The FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Japan 2012 began on 19 August with group-stage matches in the cities of Kobe, Hiroshima, Saitama and Miyagi. Miyagi, which is located in northeast Japan’s Tohoku region, was severely impacted by last year’s earthquake and tsunami but is demonstrating great resilience in rebounding to host the event.
The final and runner-up matches will take place on 8 September, also at Kasumigaoka National Stadium.
The iconic venue is the site of the proposed Olympic Stadium for Tokyo 2020, which will showcase state-of-the-art construction including the Olympic Games’ first retractable roof.
A recently launched international contest by the Japan Sport Council is soliciting entries for the final design.
Tsunekazu Takeda, IOC Member and President of both Tokyo 2020 and the Japanese Olympic Committee, said: “The Kasumigaoka National Stadium site is a symbol of Japan’s commitment to maintain the legacy of the 1964 Olympic Games.
We are delighted women’s football is gaining popularity both domestically and internationally, and believe this is great for international sport.
The FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Japan 2012 is showcasing Tokyo’s amazing ability to host world-class events, and we are fully leveraging these same skills and know-how in our bid to host the world in 2020.”
In the meantime, Japan’s U-20 Team hopes to continue its winning ways in the current tournament and emulate the Japan national women’s football team, which won both the 2011 FIFA Women World Cup™ and the London 2012 Olympic Games silver medal.
Passionate Japanese fans cheer on their U-20 women’s national team
Photo: Tokyo 2020/Photo Kishimoto