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FIFA Inspectors give Christchurch seal of approval

1 March 2014

FIFA Inspectors give Christchurch seal of approval

Some of the most senior officials from football’s world governing body, FIFA, have given Christchurch the seal of approval as it prepares to host FIFA’s second largest global tournament – the U-20 World Cup in 2015.

FIFA Inspectors were in Christchurch today to inspect the City’s host stadium Christchurch Stadium and various training venues for this landmark event and agreed that the venue was in great shape to showcase the world’s biggest game.

The Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2015 has announced that the brand-new FIFA U-20 World Cup trophy has been entrusted to the LOC and will be taken on a nationwide tour of New Zealand in May. The trophy will be in Christchurch on Monday 19 May.

One of the FIFA officials inspecting Christchurch Stadium was the Head of Olympics, FCWC and FIFA U-20 World Cup Marion Mayer-Vorfelder.

“For a venue which was built in just 100 days, we have been hugely impressed with the stadium and its infrastructure which is why we committed to bringing a semi-final to Christchurch,” she says. “We feel hugely confident that this arena will be able to showcase the very best young talent which our sport has to offer when this tournament kicks off next year.”

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel was on hand to welcome the FIFA delegation and said that Christchurch looks forward to welcoming the world’s best young football stars for this iconic sporting event.

“By 2015, Christchurch will be in the perfect place to host a sporting event of this magnitude. We’ve had enough hotels, restaurants, shops and attractions open since the 2011 earthquakes – with more on the way – to ensure teams and visiting fans will be well looked-after,” she says.

“As well, Christchurch’s welcome influx of migrants – many of whom have brought an inborn passion for football with them – to work on the rebuild has created a lively cultural cross-section. All the ingredients are in place and it’s looking like the FIFA U-20 World Cup will make a big splash in Christchurch in 2015.”

Christchurch is the only South Island venue to host a match in the final rounds of the tournament, hosting nine matches between Monday 1 and Wednesday 17 June, including a round of 16 clash, a quarter-final, and one of the two semi-finals. All of the Christchurch matches will be played at Christchurch Stadium in Addington.

Dave Beeche, CEO of the Local Organising Committee of the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015 added: “We’re pleased that Christchurch was selected to host matches in the final stages of this tournament and hope that it will be a welcome boost for this great City as well as provide the region’s vibrant football community with a chance to be inspired by the level of footballing talent on display.

“We fully expect this stadium to sell out next year and would urge football fans from across the region to book their seats early when tickets go on sale next month.”

The FIFA Inspection Tour of New Zealand covers all seven Host Cities from Whangarei toDunedin and will conclude with a press conference at Auckland’s Sky City on Friday 14 March.

Players like Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho, Cesc Fabregas and Luis Figo have all starred at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in years gone by and many of those participating in the 2015 tournament will have already established their reputations in the top leagues in Europe.

With the world coming to New Zealand, fans are encouraged to register for ticket alerts onwww.fifa.com/NZ2015 to make sure they don’t miss out on the best seats, with tickets going on sale next month.

About the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015
The FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015 is the largest football tournament ever staged in New Zealand. It will take place over three weeks from 30 May 2015 to 20 June 2015 with 24 countries participating. A total of 52 matches will be played in seven host cities – Whangarei, Auckland,Hamilton, New Plymouth, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. An audience of over 500,000 is expected to attend the event.

About the FIFA U-20 World Cup
The FIFA U-20 World Cup is the world championship of football for male players under the age of 20 and is organised by Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). The Championship has been awarded every two years since the first tournament in 1977 held in Tunisia. In the 19 tournaments held, only nine nations have won the title. Argentina is the most successful team with six titles, followed by Brazil with five titles and Portugal with two titles.

ENDS

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