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Host cities named for FIFA Under 20 World Cup New Zealand 2015
Seven host cities and stadiums have been announced for the FIFA Under 20 World Cup New Zealand 2015: Auckland (North Harbour Stadium), Christchurch (Christchurch Stadium), Dunedin (Otago Stadium), Hamilton (Waikato Stadium), New Plymouth (Stadium Taranaki), Wellington (Wellington Regional Stadium) and Whangarei (Northland Event Centre).
The cities were named at an event at the Maritime Museum in Auckland by world football governing body FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter in the presence of New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, Organising Committee Chief Executive Dave Beeche and New Zealand Football President Frank van Hattum.
The FIFA Under 20 World Cup - FIFA's second-biggest men's tournament - will be held on Oceanian soil for the third time after Australia hosted the competition in 1981 and 1993. The event will take place from 30th May to 21st June 2015.
Blatter stated "New Zealand hosted the FIFA Under 17 World Cup in 1999 and the FIFA Under 17 Women's World Cup in 2008 and enjoys a proud history of successfully hosting FIFA events. Bringing the FIFA U-20 World Cup to this sports-loving country will for sure enhance the image and popularity of the beautiful game in New Zealand.
"The Host Cities play an essential role in delivering a FIFA competition and I am pleased to see that football fans in cities across the whole country will have the chance to become a part of it."
Beeche was full of praise for all of the cities that were involved in the bidding process, adding "to have seven stunning venues locked in nearly two years out from the first match gives us a great planning time-frame and we'll use all of it to ensure that a stand-out event is delivered.
"This tournament has a huge global following and that's the opportunity we have with this event - to deliver exposure for New Zealand and host regions both directly during the tournament and via a massive international television audience.
"With the world's best footballing talent on display and stadiums full of colour, noise and atmosphere, it will be a new experience for New Zealand that everyone will want to be a part of."
New Zealand will take over as the host of the FIFA Under 20 World Cup from Turkey, who organised this year's edition of the event from 21st June to 13th July.
Image shows Dunedin' Forsyth Barr Stadium.
21st December 2012 - NEW ZEALAND BOOSTED BY 2011 RUGBY WORLD CUP
18th October 2012 - NEW ZEALAND FOOTBALL NAMES ORGANISING COMMITTEE FOR UNDER 20 WORLD CUP
3rd August 2011 - NEW ZEALAND FOOTBALL INVITES CITIES TO HOST 2015 FIFA UNDER 20 WORLD CUP
27th November 2009 - WORLD CUP BOOST FOR NZ GRASSROOTS FOOTBALL COACHING
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