Korea Republic sets sights on attendance record
At a meeting in Zurich on 19 March under the chairmanship of FIFA vice-president Jack Austin Warner, the Organising Committee for the FIFA U-17 World Cup was pleased to learn of the advanced stage of preparations for this year’s tournament in Korea Republic. A FIFA delegation travelled to the host nation in early March and delivered a glowing report on its inspection of the eight venues in Cheonan, Changwon, Goyang, Gwangyang, Seogwipo, Seoul, Suwon and Ulsan.
The tournament, which will feature 24 teams for the first time as opposed to the previous 16, will be played between 18 August and 9 September. The local organising committee has set itself a number of objectives, one of which is to break the current overall attendance record for the FIFA U-17 World Cup, which has stood at 735,000 ever since the inaugural event – a U-16 competition – in China PR in 1985. The Korean organisers have also kept prices low for all 52 matches – a match ticket will cost the equivalent of between USD 2.10 and a maximum of USD 7.40.
The final draw for the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2007, which will be broadcast in at least 130 countries around the world, will be held in Seoul on 17 May. To date, only Asian (Korea Republic as host nation, Korea DPR, Japan, Tajikistan and Syria) and African teams (Ghana, Nigeria, Togo and Tunisia) have booked their tickets. The line-up will be completed by five representatives from CONCACAF, four from CONMEBOL, one from the OFC and five from UEFA.
In other matters, Nigeria is bidding to host the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2009. The African country’s government has already submitted the necessary guarantees to world football’s governing body and the FIFA Executive Committee will decide on the host nation of the U-17 World Cup.