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New Zealand to host 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup

New Zealand to host 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup

New Zealand is set to get an even bigger appetite for the beautiful game after winning the rights to host the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

New Zealand beat Wales to the rights which FIFA announced early Friday morning (NZT) in Zurich.

March 4, 2011

AUCKLAND – New Zealand is set to get an even bigger appetite for the beautiful game after winning the rights to host the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
New Zealand beat Wales to the rights which FIFA announced early Friday morning (NZT) in Zurich.

With 24 nations and 52 matches, the FIFA U-20 World Cup is FIFA’s second largest tournament behind the senior men’s event, and rivals the FIFA Women’s World Cup as its next most important.

The tournament is broadcast in over 200 countries and has a cumulative audience of around 500 million viewers. The final of Egypt 2009, between Brazil and Ghana, alone drew a global audience of over 25 million people. The qualifying process for this year’s edition in Colombia attracted 179 nations.

“Put simply, it’s huge,” said New Zealand Football Chairman Frank van Hattum.

“Outside the FIFA World Cup, the U-20 event is about as big as it gets, and for FIFA to award us the honour and responsibility of hosting is a great vote of confidence given its scale, significance and world-wide interest.”

The FIFA U-20 World Cup has been the launching pad for many of football’s past and present superstars including Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi.

“It’s highly likely that the world’s biggest football nations will qualify and we’ll have the likes of Brazil, Spain, England, Germany and Argentina on our doorstep and among that talent will be the next global superstar.

“I’ve got no doubt that kiwi sporting fans will get excited about watching the global game in our backyard, and it will inspire, or even produce, the next generation of All Whites.”

The tournament will be spread across at least six venues although a final decision about which cities are included is yet to be made.

“We’ve got four years to prepare and the hard work starts now. There are some important decisions to be made, not least around host cities but Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch are top of the list. I’m sure there will be a lot of interest given the economic impact for a region. ”

van Hattum acknowledged the role New Zealand hosting this year’s Rugby World Cup played in the success of the country’s bid and said New Zealand 2015 would also have cross-code benefits.

“Having revitalised stadia and an enhanced hosting capacity was vital for landing a tournament of this size, and it certainly would have helped our cause in the eyes of FIFA.”

“Leaving a legacy for football in New Zealand is something NZF and FIFA are both committed to, and the event will maintain and enhance our nation’s reputation and capability to host major events of all shapes and sizes.”

van Hattum also acknowledged the support of SPARC, New Zealand Major Events, the New Zealand Government and local councils in putting together the bid, and the overall assistance from both FIFA and OFC.

New Zealand’s success in hosting the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Cup and the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2008 was also seen as a strong selling point.

SPARC Chief Executive Peter Miskimmin said he was delighted New Zealand Football had secured the event. SPARC had helped with the feasibility of putting in a bid and had provided $30,000 to develop the bid.

“This will be an amazing opportunity for Kiwi fans, and youngsters in particular to see, and be inspired by, the up and coming stars of world football here on home soil.

“This is a golden time for football in New Zealand and it’s a story that just keeps on going. It’s a sport that is doing well at the high performance end with the All Whites, and at the grass roots. Winning this event is recognition of the success football is having in New Zealand, both on and off the field.

“The FIFA U-20 World Cup is a highly sought after event and countries compete strongly to host it. So, for New Zealand to win the bid is fantastic and New Zealand Football is to be congratulated on this,” Miskimmin said.

ENDS

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