Hopefully this will manage to get some mention amid the earthquake news tonight, as we could do with some more upbeat stories to keep the pecker up:
New Zealand has won the rights to host the U20 Football World Cup in 2015.
New Zealand Football Chairman Frank van Hattum:
“Put simply, it’s huge. 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.”
Bid winner NZF chief executive Michael Glading:
“… significantly bigger than the Commonwealth Games.”
We will host the next Messi / Ronaldo / Rooney / Maradona on these shores. With up to 200 nations competing for places, and a cumulative TV audience of about half a billion watching. 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.
Our success in hosting the 1999 U17 World Cup and 2008 Women’s U17 World Cup played a big part in getting us the tournament, as well as hosting this years Rugby World Cup. The All Whites being the only unbeaten team at the World Cup 2010 no doubt helped too! This should help New Zealand Football push on from that success and solidify some of the gains into creating the next batch of All Whites to perform that well.
Canada’s 2007 hosting of the tournament was worth almost $350 million, so it should help the economy a fair bit too. Christchurch will be top of the list for being one of the 6 host cities, so should help them with their long term recovery too.
As a pseudonymous author I claim no particular inside knowledge of football, just a keen interest, so the information and ideas in this story may be of less value to you, the reader, as I have not declared my life story as an ordinary person with verifiable facts.
I should declare that I back Liverpool, so all the opinions in the article could be tarnished and invalid if you’re a Chelsea fan.