Blatter: Thank you, Korea
© Foto-net

Six hours prior to the kick-off of the final match, the official press conference of the FIFA U-17 World Cup was held at Grand Hyatt Hotel in Seoul on Sunday 9 September.

FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, FIFA Vice President and Chairman of the Organising Committee for the FIFA U-17 World Cup Jack A. Warner, FIFA Vice President and President of Korea Football Association Chung Mong-Joon, and Chairman of the Local Organising Committee Chung Dong-Chea attended the press conference.

Joseph S. Blatter, FIFA President

On the tournament so far
Today is the day of the final matches, with the 51 st and 52 nd games being held in Seoul's FIFA World Cup Stadium. This is the first time that 24 teams came together for the first time and I'm glad everything has gone well so far. As the FIFA President, I would like to congratulate and thank the Local Organising Committee for their hard work, and especially the Korean people who have supported this competition.

Jack A. Warner, FIFA Vice President and Chairman of the Organising Committee for the FIFA U-17 World Cup

On the organisation
I'd like to thank the LOC and Chairman Chung Dong-Chea, KFA President Chung Mong-Joon, and everyone who has helped us for a successful tournament. We have had a wonderful experience during the tournament. And I'd also like to thank the kindness and hospitality of the Korean people and government. The memory will last for a long time.

On the participating teams
I'm happy that those 24 countries who took part in this year's competition have played good football, and the seven countries who played in the FIFA U-17 World Cup for the first time - Belgium, England, Haiti, Honduras, Syria, Tajikistan and Togo - played exceptionally well. All teams performed well and 162 goals have been scored so far, which means 3.24 goals per game.

From this tournament, I can see that football has a bright future. The young players who have performed so well here have had a wonderful experience and have been able to play at a high level. Also, the referees have done an extremely good job.

Chung Mong-Joon, FIFA Vice President and President of the Korea Football Association

On youth football
The FIFA U-17 World Cup is like a trailer for the FIFA World Cup at senior level. The actors in the preview will be of course the heroes in the movie itself. And sometimes the trailer is even more interesting than the movie!

On the tournament so far
I'd like to say three things ahead of the conclusion of this tournament: I enjoyed this year's FIFA U-17 World Cup as an opportunity to provide a foundation of youth football in the Korea Republic. And it was also a good experience for the Asian countries, as this should be an important moment for the development of football in Asia. Lastly, the rains have made it difficult for the fans and journalists to come to the games, but I thank everyone who was there nevertheless.

On youth football in Asia
Five Asian teams participated but did not achieve good results. But football is not all about winning but teaching basic skills to young players. Asian football is still catching up with the world level, but if we play with passion and keep on trying, we will be able to close the gap.

Chung Dong-Chea, Chairman of the Local Organising Committee
I'd like to thank Mr Jack Warner, all the members of the LOC, all the mayors of the venues and government authorities who have helped us to prepare for this tournament. I had hoped Korea Republic would reach the Round of 16, to draw more attendances to the stadiums. But still, it has been a successful tournament so far.