Official Mascot launched in Istanbul
© LOC

The opening match of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013 will kick off in just over eight months. As the date of 21 June 2013 continues to count down, the Local Organising Committee (LOC) launched the official mascot at the historical 19th century Ottoman Esma Sultan in Istanbul on Monday 13 November.

The mascot is an adorable one-year-old puppy. In other words, he is the equivalent of a 14-year-old teenager that is full of energy. He was born in a village called Kangal of the Sivas province. This unique breed of dog, which was first bred by our Oguz Turk ancestors, is being pampered with special care and training in dog farms nowadays. The mascot is one of these lucky puppies.

He is a good-tempered, cheerful, obedient puppy. He is full of joy with the enthusiasm of his adolescence. He likes to run and play with his brothers in the green fields of his hometown. He gets on really well with kids and senior people. He is full of compassion and he has a high protective instinct, even though he is not fully grown yet. He learns quickly and he has a great memory. He also has blue eyes which originated from the blue colour of Turkey 2013 logo.

The mascot has a new excitement in his life lately. He just found out that FIFA U-20 World Cup 2013 will take place in Turkey. He cannot wait to meet the future stars of world football and is thrilled that he will be able to play football with them. He is looking forward to meeting football fans from all over the world. He is already packed for his trip to the seven Host Cities of the FIFA U-20 World Cup.

The mascot, who is a noble, friendly and protective dog like all other Kangal dogs, will share the welcoming, warm and courteous qualities of Turkish culture with all visitors. He will stand against all immoral and unhealthy behaviour."

The FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013 will see Kayseri host the official opening ceremony. Antalya, Bursa, Gaziantep, Istanbul, Rize and Trabzon are the other six venues. In total, there will be 52 matches, played across 23 days, with 24 teams in seven venues.