Japan promised a high tech marvel in its final pitch to host the 2022 World Cup on Wednesday by paving 400 stadiums around the world with 3D flat screens to show life size matches thousands of miles away.
"I have to admit that the idea of this blows my mind away," admitted Japan 2022 bid committee chief executive Kohzo Tashima.
"Three hundred and sixty million people could have a full stadium experience of matches; that's over 100 times the number of spectators at the 1994 World Cup in the United States," he told FIFA's executive committee.
Backed by Sony chairman Howard Stringer, Japanese officials mirrored the promise of an electronics revolution for the next generation that would eliminate language problems in Japan by providing tiny real-time interpretation machines and constant connection to palm sized screens.
But the highlight of the presentation a day before the grandees of world footballs' governing body -- some of whom are in their 80s -- choose the hosts, was the idea of paving whole pitches including Wembley or the legendary Maracana stadium with flat screens.
They would project real-time hologram-like three dimensional images of the game in life size and real time to crowds around the world.
"Our nation's bid is not about one nation hosting the games or two nations, but 208 regions and FIFA nations hosting the game together," said Junji Ogura, chairman of the Japanese bid and a member of FIFA's executive committee.
"Create a World Cup for the next generation to bring 208 smiles to the world," he urged his fellow footballing offocials.
Although the idea seemed far fetched, Stringer insisted it was as realistic as the steps taken when the Walkman portable music player, home video cameras, or PlayStation were launched
"The truth is the world is changing faster than any of us can understand," the Sony chief explained.
"I can tell you that this is not science fiction, in 2022 this will be science fact," Stringer insisted, dressed in a Japan football jersey.
Japanese sports minister Kan Suzuki said the government was ready to give "absolute guarantees" not only for the political and financial pledges, but also the technological promise.
Ogura said: "The challenge for FIFA, for football, is to identify the next big idea."
Japan is vying with more traditional bids from Australia, the United States, Qatar, and South Korea to host the 2022 tournament.
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