POSTED: September 3rd 2013

Zico gives backing to Tokyo 2020 Bid as Host City selection draws nearer

Zico has endorsed the Tokyo 2020 Bid to host the Olympic Games / Tokyo 2020
Zico has endorsed the Tokyo 2020 Bid to host the Olympic Games / Tokyo 2020

CHAD WISE / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) Brazilian football legend Zico has given his endorsement of Tokyo 2020 as it prepares for the final stages of its bid campaign to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games at the 125th International Olympic Committee Session in Buenos Aires this week.

Zico, former Japanese coach, pointed to Japan’s passion for sport and the country’s proven ability to host large-scale international sporting events as reasons why Tokyo 2020 would make for a good host of the 2020 Summer Games.

“The Japanese passion for sport is great, both in playing and spectating,” he said. “It is a country that is even beyond being passionate about sport and one that offers all the conditions for warmly welcoming people.

“There was a park close to my house in Japan and it was always full, everyone practicing many sports – that was very cool to see. Sport in Japan brings unity, friendship and many important influences to society.

“Japan has the entire infrastructure to be a great host. Everything works, everything is well organised for people to go to the stadiums. Japan has successfully co-hosted the FIFA World Cup and from what I saw and the experience I had there, both the facilities and Japan has all the right conditions to hold the Olympic Games. People in Japan have a peaceful, vibrant and exciting manner of attending matches.

“Tokyo is totally ready and I would be very happy if they were to win the honour of hosting the Games, because Japan is a country that always seeks to provide the best hospitality for everyone who comes to the country.

“I think that everybody who goes to Japan is delighted with the warm welcome and the caring of the Japanese people. The facilities, transportation, accommodation and communication – everything is easy. I think Japan is now fully prepared to host."

The international football star scored 52 goals in just 72 caps for the Brazil national team and represented his country at the 1978, 1982, and 1986 FIFA World Cups. The Japan national team reached the 2006 FIFA World Cup under Zico, who first hit the Japanese football scene in 1991 when he joined the then-Sumitomo Antlers.

Tokyo 2020 is bidding against Madrid and Istanbul to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games. The International Olympic Committee will select the Host City at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires 7 September.

Keywords · Tokyo 2020 · Japan · Football · Zico · Brazil · FIFA World Cup · Olympics · Olympic Bidding · International Olympic Committee ·

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