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Asia's host ambitions for the World Cup

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Japan's image could benefit as "techno-cool" from its telecast of the games in 3-D, worldwide
  • Australia's bid hopes to solidify support for the game and cement a position in Asia football
  • Recent tensions between the two Koreas have weakened South Korea's bid

(CNN) -- The Asian nations bidding to host World Cup 2022 each have unique goals they are seeking to achieve by securing the coveted rights, among them:

Japan:
- Kyung Lah, CNN correspondent

Japan co-hosted the 2002 World Cup, which was a huge money loser for the country. Eight of the 10 stadia Japan built or renovated for the 2002 World Cup currently lose between $2 million to $6 million each, every single year. The tab is picked up by taxpayers.

Fields like Saitama Stadium, which has lost $3 million each year since the 2002 World Cup, is a beautiful, modern soccer field but it's only open 60 days a year and is built in a more rural section of Japan, so it's too far from Tokyo's population center to consistently draw huge crowds.

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Getting the 2022 World Cup would mean such infrastructure would finally be put to use again, with little cost up front in terms of construction.

More importantly, though, hosting another World Cup on a larger scale would boost national pride according to Kazuhiko Sasho, Saitama's park and stadium chief.

"We have all the memories of the excitement of hosting the world-class games. This sentiment is the greatest effect, which can't be valued in numbers," he said.

One other thing, the pitch Japan is making to telecast the World Cup in 3-D to 400 screens around the world, if successful, would be a huge promotion of Japan's image as "techno-cool."

Can Japan deliver a holographic World Cup?

Japan's manufacturing economy may be in the gutter, but Japan's "Gross National Cool", as it's referred to here, would benefit by hosting a huge event that incorporates showing off the innovations of the country at a world-class event.

Australia:
- Tracey Holmes, correspondent

Australia is a nation known for its love of competition and it's high sporting achievements -- and this ambition also applies to hosting the world's biggest events.

The only major international sporting event Australia has not hosted is the World Cup. The Olympics have been here twice as well as numerous Commonwealth Games. One of the world's major tennis tournaments is played in Australia every year, it has been a venue for the international golf circuit for decades, it hosts an annual F1 race, the MotoGP motorcycling championship and has organized the Rugby World Cup.

Australia is perhaps the only country in the world where four forms of football are played -- rugby league, Australian rules, rugby union and soccer (football).

The aim of Australia's bid is to solidify growing support for the game here (the nation having qualified for the last two World Cups) and to cement Australia's position in the Asian region in football.

When the Olympics were held in Sydney in 2000, every one of the 198 countries that participated had a local community here in Australia. The 2022 World Cup wants to both welcome the world and showcase the microcosm of the world that already lives here.

South Korea:
- Stan Grant, CNN correspondent

Korea is a proven host of the World Cup. Their team is arguably the most successful in Asia, having reached the last seven editions of the tournament.

The country has committed to increasing main stadium capacity from 60,000 seats to 83,000 by 2022. In its favor, Korea is one of the world's most high-tech nations, and can boast high-speed internet service, excellent rail and road infrastructure.

The slogan of its bid is "passion that unites" -- a clear reference to the divided Korean peninsula. If it wins the bid, South Korea has said it will hold talks with North Korea about hosting matches there.

But clearly, the recent attack on South Korea by the North and diplomatic tensions have all but scuttled this initiative.

FIFA boss Sepp Blatter recently praised South Korea's bid and no doubt saw it as part of his legacy to help heal the Korean divide. But now, holding the World Cup in this region seems far too risky and South Korea is rated as having a very, very outside chance of winning.

Qatar:

- James Montague, author of "When Friday Comes: Football in the War Zone"
Qatar has been by far the most divisive, controversial and surprising bid of to emerge in the race to host the 2022 World Cup.

The extreme summer heat, which can reach over 50 degrees Celsius, and the country's tiny size seem to be major marks against their bid.

FIFA agree, awarding a high risk rating to the Qatar bid in their technical report. But this gas rich emirate on the Persian Gulf doesn't take no for an answer.

Qatar 2022 has betted heavy on legacy, evoking the prospect of football helping to bring peace to the Middle East whilst also tempting FIFA with the promise of tapping into a huge, under-exploited market.

And their proposal for new zero-carbon cooling technology, which would allow matches to take place in safe temperatures, has applications far outside football.

Could the Middle East host its first ever World Cup? Rumors of vote collusion with the Spain-Portugal 2018 bid were dismissed by FIFA's ethics panel, but Qatar still has enough support to be considered joint favourite along with the USA. After all, when money is no object, anything can happen.

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