FIFA mulls new youth World Cup, set to abolish U-17, U-20 in 2021

Zurich, Switzerland (PANA) - Football's World Governing Body, FIFA, is planning to close down both the under-17 and under-20 World Cups from 2021 onwards, according to the FIFA media outlet.

It said that "Instead, FIFA has chalked out a plan for a new tournament, the youth World Cup, to be played annually in the under-18 or under-19 category."

It recalls that in 2017, both the under-20 and under-17 World Cups in Korea and India, respectively, had been a huge hit with England winning both tournaments.

A similar Youth World Cup has been planned in the women's category - to be played with 24 teams and to be hosted by two countries.

The issue, FIFA indicated was discussed during its Executive Football Summit in Hong Kong earlier last month.

A FIFA source said this means that "if India is given the right to host the under-20 World Cup in 2019, then it could well be the last edition of the tournament."

The Hong Kong meeting was the part of a series of meetings to discuss strategic matters for the future of the game.

The final concept will be presented to FIFA council for approval in March.

"The world body feels under the new concept - youth World Cup - there will be more participation from the member nations. The plan is to make it a 48-team competition to be played every year and to be co-hosted by four countries," a FIFA source said.

FIFA is confident that an expanded final round of 48 teams in the proposed youth World Cup would encourage greater participation.

"Under the expanded tournaments, FIFA would look to strongly encourage co-hosting and the sharing of infrastructure requirements across multiple member associations (MAs) opening up hosting opportunities to MAs that may otherwise never have the chance to host a Fifa tournament on their own.

One of the reasons for FIFA's keenness to merge the two existing youth tournaments is to streamline the complications and inconsistency in age categories, the FIFA media outlet added.
-0- PANA VAO 1Jan2018

01 january 2018 14:17:48

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