ZURICH, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Japan's bid to host the 2022
World Cup, including plans for holographic broadcasts of
matches, may come across as gimmicky but it is not just about
space-age technology, bid organisers said on Wednesday.
The Japanese say theirs is the only bid which addresses the
way in which technology and sponsorship will change over the
next 12 years, an issue they believe represents FIFA's biggest
dilemma in choosing hosts so far ahead.
"FIFA has got a very difficult decision because it is going
to have to make judgments on what will happen in the years to
come," said Patrick Nally, who was instrumental in setting up
Coca Cola's sponsorship of the 1978 World Cup and is an adviser
to the Japanese bid.
"I hope they are going to consider the implications of what
they are going to do so far in advance."
FIFA is due to announce the winners on December 2 with South
Korea, Australia and United States the other candidates.
Nally said hosting future World Cups would involve far more
than building stadiums, hotels and infrastructure, with one of
FIFA's biggest challenges likely to be finding an alternative to
its traditional dependence on sponsorship and media rights.
Japan say their FIFA Hyper Application would do the hard
work for the sport's ruling body because it is capable of
transmitting the World Cup via the Internet.
That would provide a new source of revenue derived from a
huge increase in the worldwide audience which could reach one
billion Internet users.
Yuichiro Nakajima, executive director of Japan's bid
committee, said: "Our bid is based on how football will evolve
and football is going to have to embrace that change.
"This is a risk-free way for FIFA to take a bold
step... because they have a government backing them in this
project," he said.
The hyper application would include other services,
including a digital ticketing system combining matches and
public transport, an electronic money service, GPS navigation to
venues, match commentaries and a real-time automatic translation
system supporting 50 languages.
The action on the field will be captured by 200 mini cameras
and 70 microphones in the stadium, creating 360 degree coverage
of the pitch.
"Viewers would be able to choose a viewpoint, which could be
from the centre circle, the goalkeeper's position or the
referee's perspective," said Nakajima, adding that the sound
would even allow spectators to hear the players breathing.
"They can manipulate the perspective so that it would be
Nakajima said the technology would be used in each of FIFA's
208 member countries.
"You're going to be watching it in person in near-life
fashion," he said.
"It doesn't matter if you're from a very wealthy country or
one of the least developed nations in the world."
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