The long road to Turkey
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A a long and hard battle lies ahead, with the global elite all eyeing a place at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013 which is set to take place between 21 June and 13 July 2013 in the seven host cities of Antalya, Bursa, Gaziantep, Istanbul, Kayseri, Rize and Trabzon. But now, with only the hosts assured of their spot, several nations will vie for the opportunity to dethrone 2011 champions Brazil in a series of continental qualifying competitions.

The Europeans will be first to test their weight, with six direct berths to Turkey up for grabs at the UEFA U-19 European Championship from 3 to 15 July 2012 in Estonia. Eight nations have already been split into two groups, with Group A featuring the hosts, Portugal, Greece and defending champions Spain. Meanwhile, in Group B, there is Serbia, France, England and Croatia. The top three finishers from each group will advance to the global showpiece next year.

In Asia, 16 teams will go to battle at the AFC U-19 Championship between 1 and 17 November 2012 in the United Arab Emirates. All the region's biggest names will be there, chasing a place in the competition's semi-final round and the highly-prized ticket to Turkey that comes along with it. 

Four places at Turkey 2013 are up for grabs for South American hopefuls, who will compete in the CONMEBOL South American U-20 Championship in Argentina from between January and February 2013. 

Another four spots are on offer in the North, Central America and the Caribbean region, and those sides will come together in Mexico on 18 February until 2 March 2013 for the CONCACAF U-20 Championship.

African nations will also be looking to lock-up one of four tickets at stake at the CAF African U-20 Championship in Algeria between 16 and 30 March 2013. And finally, the only qualifying event yet to be scheduled is the OFC U-20 Championship, which will determine Oceania's one representative for Turkey 2013.