In 1992 Sir Bobby was appointed by the Japan Football Association (JFA) to be an ‘Ambassador’ in support of Japan’s efforts to host the 2002 FIFA World Cup. He travelled all over the world promoting Japan’s attractions in this capacity. Thanks in large part to Sir Bobby’s efforts, Japan, together with the Republic of Korea, was awarded the 2002 tournament.
When football was enjoying surging popularity in Japan in the late 1990s, Sir Bobby acted as an adviser concerning the construction of Japan’s National Training Centre in Fukushima Prefecture. He also officially named it “J-Village”. Opened in 1997, J-Village, as well as being used as a training camp for Japan’s national team, became a centre for nurturing Japanese footballers, for instance through the JFA’s ‘Academy Fukushima’. Moreover, the members of the Japanese team that won the Women’s World Cup last year honed their skills at J-Village.