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Japan completed their fairy tale run in the FIFA Women’s World Cup with the ultimate prize as world champion by beating the US in the final in Frankfurt, Germany.
The game ended 2-2 after extra time and Japan won it by penalty shootout and became the first Asian team to win the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Quite a shocker as the Japanese were never the best in Asia, let alone on global stage prior to this.
Many would probably agree that the Americans let it slipped in the final; they dominated the match but in the end it’s the scoreline that mattered. Congrats to Japan.
FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter announced the result of the FIFA Executive Committee’s vote on Thursday 2 December 2010 in Zurich’s Messe.
The contenders for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, other than Russia, were England, a joint bid from Belgium and the Netherlands, and a joint bid from Spain and Portugal. Meanwhile, for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Australia, Japan, Korea Republic and the USA were competing with Qatar.
22 members of the FIFA Executive Committee were entitled to vote. 12 votes were needed for an absolute majority and therefore to obtain the right to host the FIFA World Cup. Here are the full results of the voting rounds:
2018 FIFA World Cup
Round 1: England 2 votes, Netherlands/Belgium 4 votes, Spain/Portugal 7 votes and Russia 9 votes (as no absolute majority was reached, the candidate with least amount of votes, England, was eliminated).
Round 2: Netherlands/Belgium 2, Spain/Portugal 7, and Russia 13.
2022 FIFA World Cup
Round 1: Australia 1 vote, Japan 3 votes, Korea Republic 4 votes, Qatar 11 votes, USA 3 votes (Australia eliminated).
Round 2: Japan 2, Korea Republic 5, Qatar 10, and USA 5 (Japan eliminated).
Round 3: Korea Republic 5, Qatar 11, and USA 6 (Korea Republic eliminated).
Round 4: Qatar 14 votes and USA 8 votes.
All four Asian representatives have bowed out of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Japan and South Korea have made themselves proud by advancing to the last 16 round, but that’s as far as they could go as both teams were eliminated at that stage… with Japan unfortunately lost to Paraguay on penalties.
There are encouraging signs for Asian teams at this World Cup, but it’s still obvious that we are far behind the traditional footballing continents, i.e. Europe and South America. We might catch up someday in terms of techniques and tactics, but the physical disadvantage is something that’s difficult to overhaul.
It’s ironic though, that football is still arguably the most popular sport in the Asia region despite our lack of global success.
South Korea and Japan, the two co-host nations of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, have booked their place in the last 16 of the 2010 tournament.
Both team needed a draw in their last group match to secure the passage. The Koreans did just enough with a 2-2 stalemate with Nigeria, while the Japanese advanced handsomely with a 3-1 victory over Denmark.
Both the Asian countries have never reached the last 16 of the World Cup on foreign soil prior to this. It’s a remarkable achievement that both are doing so.
North Korea are playing their final match today, but the chances for them to qualify for the last 16 are extremely slim. Australia, also an Asian rep, have bowed out of the tournament despite winning their last group match.