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Host cities unveiled for 2015

After a robust selection process the seven successful cities to host the tournament are Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, New Plymouth, Wellington and Whangarei.
Providing a wide geographic spread around New Zealand was a key part of the selection process as the LOC wanted to enable as much of the country to experience the tournament as possible.
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.
The tournament will be broadcast to over 100 countries and a global television audience of more than 170 million people, 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.
Auckland will host the opening match as well as a selection of pool matches, a quarter-final, a semi-final, 3rd/4th play-off and the final. All of the nine matches to be played in Auckland will be played at North Harbour Stadium. North Harbour Stadium hosted the opening match and the final of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2008 and is the home of New Zealand Football.
Christchurch will also play a significant role in the tournament hosting nine matches including six pool matches, a Round of 16 clash, a quarter-final, and the other semi-final. All of the Christchurch matches will be played at Christchurch Stadium. Both the LOC and FIFA were impressed with the stadium and are happy to be playing a small part in the Christchurch rebuild effort.
Wellington’s proven love of football and sizeable fan base was a key factor in awarding nine matches to the capital. Altogether six pool matches, a Round of 16 double-header, and a quarter-final will be played at Wellington Regional Stadium.
Hamilton will see eight matches including a full pool of six matches, a Round of 16 match and a quarter-final. All of the Hamilton matches will be played at Waikato Stadium. The great support shown by local businesses and the sporting community throughout the bidding process, combined with a large population catchment area, should make for some large local crowds.
Otago Stadium in Dunedin will provide the only covered stadium for the tournament – hosting seven matches including a Round of 16 match. A FIFA inspection team were very impressed with the stadium and see the roof as a major benefit given the winter timing of the tournament.
New Plymouth also impressed the FIFA group with their strong provincial sporting and events pedigree. Six games will be played at Stadium Taranaki made up of five pool matches and a Round of 16 clash.
Whangarei rounds out the list of host cities and ensures a solid geographical spread for the tournament. Four matches will be played at Northland Events Centre including three pool matches and a Round of 16 match up, ensuring that all host cities get to see knockout football.
Dave Beeche, CEO of the LOC for FIFA U-20 World Cup 2015, is full of praise for all of the cities that were involved in the bidding process.
“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 extremely positive following the recent site inspection tour and they are looking forward to a highly successful tournament in 2015.
“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.“
Beeche has also acknowledged the role that government played in securing the tournament.
“World Events of this significance don’t happen in New Zealand without the backing of government and the LOC would like to acknowledge this support. We’re confident that the event will deliver some significant economic and social benefits for the country.”
FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, who wasn’t present at the announcement, said New Zealand has a proud history of successfully hosting FIFA events, having held the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 1999 and the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2008.
“Bringing the FIFA U-20 World Cup to this sports-loving country will for sure enhance the image and popularity of the beautiful game in New Zealand. The host cities play an essential role in delivering a FIFA competition and I am pleased to see that football fans in cities across the whole country will have the chance to become part of it.”
The FIFA U-20 World Cup – FIFA’s second-biggest men’s tournament – will be held on Oceanian soil for the third time after Australia hosted the competition in 1981 and 1993. New Zealand will take over as the host of the FIFA U-20 World Cup from Turkey, who organised this year’s edition of the event from 21 June to 13 July.
The next event will take place from 30 May to 21 June 2015.
OFC MEDIA

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