In just under a year, the first ball of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013 will be kicked, and to mark the occasion, the Local Organising Committee held a launch at the stunning location of Istanbul’s Ciragan Palace on the Bosphorus today.
The emblem launch and match schedule announcement were beamed live on national TV, with Turkey’s famous actress and singer Demet Tuncer overseeing proceedings.
The Turkish Football Federation’s General Secretary Emre Alkin explained how excited the country’s football fans are to see stars from around the world next summer. “The current FIFA Ballon D’Or holder, Lionel Messi scored both goals in the final of the 2005 edition in The Netherlands, when Argentina beat Nigeria” he explained.
The competition kicks-off on 21 June 2013 with matches in Istanbul and Kayseri. Kayseri will host the official opening ceremony. Antalya, Bursa, Gaziantep, Rize and Trabzon are the other five venues.
Turkey has already been allotted place C1, meaning they will play their three group games at the Black Sea coast venues of Trabzon and Rize, with Istanbul hosting the final match on Saturday 13 July.
Speaking to the invited guests representing members of the Turkish football community, host clubs and cities, sponsors and media, FIFA’s Head of Competition for the U-20 World Cup Inaki Alvarez said: “This will be the largest ever football event held in Turkey, and it presents a unique opportunity. Turkey has always been renowned as a bridge between the east and west, and this competition provides the country with a chance to promote itself to supporters from around the world.”
In total, there will be 52 matches, played across 23 days, with 24 teams in 7 venues. The Turkish Football Federation is already targeting a new ticket sales record to surpass the efforts of Colombia in 2011, with a total ticketing inventory of just under 1.5million.