Sport and Recreation Minister Jonathan Cole-man is encouraging peo-ple in Whangarei to get involved in the FIFA Un-der-20 World Cup when the tournament kicks off on May 30.
“It’s a great opportu-nity to see the next wave of up-and-coming foot-ball superstars and to be part of a global sporting event,” says Dr Coleman.
Whangarei, which will host four matches, is already seeing the ben-efits of being part of the
World Cup, with new grounds facilities built at Springs Flat for use dur-ing the tournament.
“The addition of four new playing fields is a significant legacy for Whangarei, with two of the new pitches devel-oped to meet internation-al standards.
“The two new sand carpet fields mean they can serve as FIFA train-
ing grounds for the tour-nament and can be used for years to come by the local community.”
The Government has contributed $5.5 mil-lion to the tournament, which is the second larg-est men’s competition in FIFA’s global calendar.
Fifty-two matches will be played across Whangarei, Christch-urch, Auckland, Hamil-ton, New Plymouth, Wel-lington and Dunedin.
The tournament is widely regarded as a breeding ground for future talent with 582 U-20 players going on to participate in the FIFA World Cup – 30 of them in World Cup winning teams.
The event will have an estimated television au-dience of 170 million. For further information, schedules and tickets, head to www.fifa.com/nz2015.