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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

World Cup Co-Hosts?

SEOUL, South Korea () -- FIFA, international soccer's governing body, has asked Japan and South Korea if they are willing to co-host the 2002 World Cup finals, soccer officials in Seoul said.

It was the first time FIFA has officially sounded out the suggestion that Japan and South Korea co-host the World Cup finals rather than let their overheated bid competition hurt bilateral relations.

Although soccer officials in Europe and Asia are said to be backing the co-hosting idea, top FIFA officials, including President Joao Havelange, had previously rejected the unprecedented proposal.

FIFA Secretary General Sepp Blatter sent a letter dated May 7 to Japan and South Korea giving five days to respond to whether they are willing to co-host the quadrennial soccer championship, said officials Saturday at the Korea Football Association.