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Whangarei a Host City for FIFA's Second Biggest Tournament

Media Release

15 August 2013

Whangarei confirmed as a Host City for FIFA's Second Biggest Tournament

With just under two years until kick off in the first match of the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015, FIFA and the New Zealand Football Local Organising Committee (LOC) have confirmed that Whangarei will host four matches during the tournament.

The tournament will be broadcast to over 100 countries and a global television audience of more than 170 million people[1], providing exposure for the tournament, the host cities, and New Zealand on a massive scale. It is estimated more than 7,000 overseas fans will pour into New Zealand for the tournament and to support their teams.

All four matches will be played at the Northland Events Centre, including a Round of 16 match up, ensuring that all host cities get to see knockout football.

The naming of Whangarei as a host city followed a robust selection process where a total of 7 successful cities were named. Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, New Plymouth, Wellington & Whangarei.

Altogether the tournament will host 24 national teams, include 52 matches, and will run for three weeks from 30 May until 20 June 2015 during the local football season, which will provide a great opportunity for the large youth playing base in the sport to be inspired by the world's best players. With an average of three goals scored per game in the last three FIFA U-20 World Cup tournaments this will be dynamic, exciting Football at its best.

Acting Mayor Phil Halse said we are very proud to be hosting four games in the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2015.

"This is a great endorsement for Whangarei as a District that can host significant international events and builds on our strategy to become an events destination." he said.

"Our visitors and tourists can take part in the international celebration of football and hopefully take some extra time to make the most of our District's hospitality, beautiful coastline and great climate.

"I am sure the locals will really get behind this, we sold out both RWC games held here and are certain to make the most of every opportunity with the FIFA U-20 World Cup," said Mr Halse.

Dave Beeche, CEO FIFA U-20 World Cup 2015, is full of praise for all of the cities that were involved in the bidding process and is pleased that Whangarei and Northland will play a part in the tournament.

"We'd like to thank all of the cities that put in a bid to host matches for their work over the last year to get to this point. The feedback from FIFA was very positive following the recent site inspection tour and they are looking forward to a highly successful tournament in 2015.

"With Whangarei hosting matches we are able to showcase another unique New Zealand destination and ensure that more Kiwis can experience the tournament first hand. We know that Whangarei will leave a lasting impression on the players and fans that make the trip north and that the teams that play there will inspire the next generation of Northland footballers.

"To have seven stunning venues locked in nearly two years out from the first match gives us a great planning timeframe and we'll use all of it to ensure that a standout event is delivered. This tournament has a huge global following and that's the opportunity we have with this event - to deliver exposure for New Zealand and host regions both directly during the tournament and via a massive international television audience. With the world's best footballing talent on display and stadiums full of colour, noise, and atmosphere it will be a new experience for New Zealand that everyone will want to be a part of."

ENDS

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