Canada to host World Cup Under-20's (maybe)

djones

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Canada wins right to host 2007 world under-20 soccer championship
Monday, August 09, 2004

TORONTO (CP) - Canada has won its bid to host the 2007 world under-20 soccer championships.

The World Youth Championship is second only in size and history to the World Cup, FIFA's marquee event. It features 24 countries and 52 games spread over three weeks. Kevan Pipe, chief operating officer of the Canadian Soccer Association, declined comment on the bid. But two sources confirmed that Canada will host the event.

The CSA has scheduled a "major announcement" at a news conference Tuesday morning in Toronto, with FIFA vice-president Jack Warner, CSA president Andy Sharpe and local MP Tony Ianno in attendance.

Securing the under-20 championships finalizes $35 million worth of federal and provincial government funding for a new Varsity Stadium, which falls in Ianno's downtown Toronto riding. The $80-million outdoor stadium, which will be home to the CFL's Toronto Argonauts and University of Toronto football team, is slated to hold 25,000.

The under-20 tournament will be held in six cities across Canada. Expect Edmonton, Montreal and Ottawa and Toronto, thanks to the planned stadium, to be automatic choices. Hamilton and Winnipeg are possible venues, with Vancouver also in the mix with Whitecaps owner Greg Kerfoot having talked of a new facility there.

Calgary could also figure. The artificial turf at McMahon Stadium is in its sixth year and stadium officials are investigating new surfaces. Tuesday's announcement may help accelerate their decision.

It's an enviable position for the normally venue-challenged CSA.

FIFA mandates that the final be played in a stadium that seats 30,000-plus. Given that, and the success of the inaugural women's under-19 championship in 2002, the final of the 2007 event would seem destined for Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium.

The only other FIFA world championship hosted by Canada was the 1987 under-17 competition, which took place in Toronto, Montreal, St. John's and Saint John, N.B.

The current Canadian stadium mix will mean a significant portion of the competition will be played on artificial turf. FIFA has opened the door wider to that possibility in recent months, changing the laws of the game to permit play on sanctioned artificial surfaces. The Canadian senior side is due to play on artificial turf in Costa Rica in a World Cup qualifying game in October.

Ten matches, including the final, of the 2003 world under-17 championship in Finland were played on artificial turf.

Molson Stadium in Montreal and Frank Clair Stadium in Ottawa are FieldTurf surfaces already approved for international play by FIFA. CFL venues in Hamilton and Winnipeg sport different new-generation artificial turf surfaces that would have to get approval.

The new stadium in Toronto is destined for an artificial surface, Pipe has said previously, but there has been some talk of using real grass for the FIFA tournament and then moving to an artificial surface.

Starting in Tunisia in 1977, the world under-20 tournament has been held every two years, with the 2005 competition slated for the Netherlands.

A total of 73 countries have taken part.

Over its history, the tournament has averaged 15,476 fans per game with a cumulative 8.1 million having attended the 524 matches. The 2003 edition, in the United Arab Emirates, drew a total of 592,100 spectators.

Canada qualified in 1979 in Japan (when it finished 13th), 1985 in the Soviet Union (14th), 1987 in Chile (10th), 1997 in Malaysia (14th), 2001 in Argentina (24th) and 2003 in the United Arab Emirates (eight).

The 2003 Canadian team made history by reaching the quarter-finals before losing to Spain 2-1 in extra time.

As host country, Canada has an automatic berth in the 2007 field.

For Canadian fans thinking the sky's the limit, only two host countries have ever won the title: Portugal in 1991 (with the likes of Luis Figo and Rui Costa in the lineup) and Argentina in 2001.

Brazil has qualified for the tournament 13 times and won the title four times. Argentina has also won it four times. The other six crowns have gone to European countries.

The Soviet Union (1985), Chile (1987) and Australia (1993) all made it to the semifinals as hosts.

The tournament is a launching pad for some of soccer's best, with the likes of Argentina's Diego Maradona and Javier Saviola, Brazil's Dunga and Ronaldinho, England's Michael Owen, France's Thierry Henry and David Trezeguet, Ireland's Damien Duff and the Netherlands' Marco van Basten all having taken part.

Notes: Former Canadian coach Holger Osieck is co-head of the FIFA technical study group that will be in Athens to follow the Olympic soccer tournament. Osieck is currently director of FIFA's development division and responsible for men's soccer for the world governing body of the sport. Also on the FIFA group at the Games is former Canadian women's coach Sylvie Beliveau ... Toronto striker Dwayne DeRosario scored on a rocket-like volley from just inside the penalty box Saturday night to help the San Jose Earthquakes to a 2-0 MLS win over D.C. United. DeRosario's blast is a finalist for MLS goal of the week. Vancouver's Pat Onstad recorded the shutout for San Jose. ... Canadian coach Frank Yallop, continuing to put his stamp on the job, will work with players from local teams in Edmonton on Tuesday.
 

djones

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Has to be great news for soccer in Canada...if the report is true. Vancouver will have to sprint to get a stadium up and running and it would be nice to see Kerfoot come through with his promise of a brand new stadium. Would have to be 25 - 30 000 seater. Would BC Place do be sufficient for the tournament? Could we sellout BC Place (60 - 70 000 seats) ? Depending on prices, I'd go and see the games. I don't know if 60 000 would. It would be disappointing if Vancouver misses out.
 

Dude

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Very cool!

Perhaps the presser will give more insight to Vancouver's possible participation. Give us a date "contingent"on the new stadium? Just a thought...
 

Regs

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Well, the stadium deal has now fallen through... who would have thunk such a thing would happen in Canada? :rolleyes:

Is there any logical reason the new stadium 'has' to be in Toronto for the CSA to consider it?

Why not here in Vancouver? There's already been talk about Whitecaps owner Kerfoot looking into something here and recently we've heard of the Lions interest in something a little more intimate... everything on the surface at least seems to be there for the same thing to happen here that they were/are proposing in Toronto.

The differences I see are that you would have Kerfoot replacing part of the UofT's committment, a chance to use the facility 12 months of the year, and a provincial government that is apparently keen on public spending towards sporting events/projects (I think the Ontario government was the only level of government not onside in the Toronto plans - maybe it was the city, can't remember).

The other thing is that all the National team's staff pretty much now call the greater Vancouver area home...

Does anyone know if there have been talks at any level of bringing the proposal this way west?

Cheers,

~Regs.
 

sid

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little jones will be able to play in that world cup,thats good for canada soccer ,but eons too late
 

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