Press Release – New Zealand Government
1 April 2015
Countdown to NZ hosting FIFA U-20 World Cup
Following a hugely successful ICC Cricket World Cup, Sport and Recreation Minister Jonathan Coleman says the countdown is now on for football’s FIFA Under-20 World Cup.
“The country has been gripped by the Cricket World Cup over the last six weeks, and while that’s now finished, the excitement is far from over,” says Dr Coleman.
“New Zealand is now just two months out from hosting some of the best U-20 football players in the world with 52 matches in Whangarei, Auckland, Hamilton, New Plymouth, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.
“The tournament is widely regarded as a breeding ground for future talent with 582 U-20 players going on to participate in the FIFA World Cup – 30 of them in World Cup winning teams.
“Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho, Michael Owen, and Adriano all played at this event previously, so it is a huge chance for Kiwis to see the next wave of global superstars in action.
“The Government has contributed $5.5 million to the tournament, which will be broadcast to around 100 countries with a global TV audience of 170 million.
“We are expecting over 7,000 international visitors, including 800 players and support staff and 100 international media.
“The FIFA U-20 World Cup is a great opportunity on the back of both the ICC Cricket World Cup and the 2011 Rugby World Cup to boost New Zealand’s reputation for hosting major international sporting events.”
The tournament kicks off with New Zealand v Ukraine at Auckland’s North Harbour Stadium on Sunday 30 May. Further information can be found here: www.fifa.com/u20worldcup.