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 started in the city of Kayseri where the opening match will be held.
On the first stop of the Trophy Tour, a giant version of the competition’s official matchball, the adidas Cafusa, was placed in front of Forum Kayseri Shopping Mall and ceremonially unveiled to the public. Kayseri Governor Serif Yilmaz, the Turkish FA’s (TFF) second vice-president and Local Organising Committee (LOC) President Servet Yardimci, as well as a number of other officials, participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony and uncovered the Cafusa. This giant matchball will remain in public view until the start of the tournament.
Afterwards, officials went to the event area in the Forum Kayseri shopping mall, where the Trophy Tour Truck is located to have their photo taken with the FIFA U-20 World Cup Trophy in the very first presentation of the silverware.
Having purchased souvenirs from the truck, Yilmaz and Yardimci made a collective statement to the media. Emphasising the positive coordination between the LOC and the local authorities, Governor Yilmaz said: “We are trying to prepare Kayseri for the tournament as well as we possibly can. We want to be perfect hosts and portray our city in the best possible way. We’re also aiming to increase our city’s prestige, when it comes to hosting future international events.
“We are only two months away from the tournament,” continued Yilmaz. “The Kayseri government will strive to promote the event effectively and do its utmost to ensure the stadiums will be full once the competition begins.
"We’re set to welcome both guests from around the world and football stars of the future this summer. At the moment, tournament tickets are being sold with a ten per cent discount. So, my advice to the people of Kayseri would be to take advantage of this discount and not to miss out on this unique opportunity.”
Yardimci: Kadir Has is one of the most modern stadiums in Turkey
Yardimci, for his part, drew attention to the fact that Kadir Has Stadium is one of the most modern and best-run stadiums in Turkey: “The stadium’s operators have already proved their capabilities to everybody, thanks to their successful hosting of two senior national-team matches and the Ziraat Turkish Cup final.
“Kayseri’s efforts were rewarded by earning the right to host the opening match of FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013 on 21 June,” he continued. “I am convinced that there will be a very passionate footballing atmosphere here, thanks to the vibe created in the city during the tournament. This will certainly help make Kayseri an even more powerful city when it comes to hosting other football events in the future.”
Towards the end of his speech, Yardimci also thanked Governor Yilmaz and Kayseri Mayor Mehmet Özhaseki for their support and visionary approach to the tournament.
Meanwhile, the well-known Turkish rock band GECE, who recorded the tournament’s official song Yıldızlar Buradan Yükseliyor (Stars are rising here) gave a concert in the event area on Sunday.
Trophy Tour Programme
After Kayseri, the tour will take in each of the tournament’s remaining six host cities over the course of the next six weekends.
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, will be open to visitors in other host cities between 12.00-22.00 during the subsequent tours over the coming weekends.
A giant version of the official match ball, the adidas Cafusa, will be placed in the host cities’ main squares and on public view from the start of these Trophy Tour activities to the beginning of the tournament. In addition, football fans will be able to purchase match tickets from the mobile ticket offices set up at the venues.
On top of the official programme of activities, a PlayStation Corner and touch-screen quiz, as well as a variety of shooting and football games (including Kick-Point) will provide entertainment to the fans in the event area in each city where the Trophy Truck is located. There will also be a giant TV screen showing clips of stars that have previously competed in the FIFA U-20 World Cup, as well as a variety of photo opportunities for the public.
The schedule for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013 Trophy Tour:
27-28 April 2013 - Antalya
4-5 May 2013 - Gaziantep
11-12 May 2013 - Trabzon
18-19 May 2013 - Rize
25-26 May 2013 - Bursa
2-3 June 2013 - Istanbul