Presented by Halkbank, one of the national supporters of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013 - which runs from 21 June to 13 July - the tournament's Trophy Tour made its second stop in Antalya.
The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) second vice-president and Local Organising Committee (LOC) President Servet Yardımcı, TFF General Secretary Prof. Dr. Emre Alkin, the Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism, Turkish Active Football Referees and Observers Association President Abdurrahman Arıcı and the Deputy Governor of Antalya Ali Nazım Balcıoğlu, all participated in the two-day event in Atatürk Park Square on Konyaaltı Road.
Yardımcı: Antalya is a world football centre
Speaking to the media representatives during the event, Yardımcı had this to say: “This tournament is a very important test for Turkey, as it is going to be a reference for future events. Turkey has to be one of the countries which people think about right away when it comes to international events.
“With the passion and excitement that the tournament will bring, I believe it will be a plus for Turkey in its candidacy for 2020 Summer Olympics," he continued. "Antalya will host eight matches in total including one of the quarter-final ties, and we hope to see people in Antalya showing their anticipated interest and support in the tournament.”
Stating that tournament tickets can either be purchased via the internet or the stands that will be set up during the Trophy Tour events, Yardımcı concluded: “Both with its wide-range accommodation opportunities and training facilities, Antalya is a world football centre. Therefore, thanks to the tournament, it will be an additional test for the city."
Alkin: Antalya lives and breathes football
Meanwhile, Prof. Alkin underlined the importance to Turkeu of hosting a big tournament like the FIFA U-20 World Cup. “It’s a very nice event in football terms, with 24 teams taking part including Turkey. Every team is the favourite in this tournament. I expect a fantastic competition” he said.
“Antalya makes a significant contribution to the Turkish economy, as well as world’s football economy, and those attributes make it a key city. Thousands of teams have camps here during the winter break. Antalya is a city that lives and breathes football. We expect the people in Antalya to completely fill the Akdeniz University Stadium and I believe that will be the case,” Alkin added.
Following the media statements, Yardımcı, Alkin and other officials had their photo taken with the FIFA U-20 World Cup Trophy and the tournament’s Official Mascot in the event area - together with local children.
The truck containing the newly-designed FIFA U-20 World Cup Trophy, which will be presented to this year’s winners for the first time, has left the city after the events in Antalya. In addition, the official match ball of the tournament, the adidas Cafusa, will continue to be on public display in Cumhuriyet Square until the start of the tournament.
The schedule for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013 Trophy Tour:
4-5 May 2013 - Gaziantep
11-12 May 2013 - Trabzon
18-19 May 2013 - Rize
25-26 May 2013 - Bursa
1-2 June 2013 - Istanbul