Łódź will host the FIFA U-20 World Cup

From 23 May to 15 June 2019 Poland will host the best football teams up to 20 years of age. The main arena of the FIFA U-20 World Cup will be Lodz where, among others, the opening match and the final will be held as well as group matches with the participation of Polish national team. The state of preparation of the city for this event was checked on Wednesday by representatives of the FIFA who also met with Mayor of Lodz Hanna Zdanowska at the city stadium at 138 Piłsudskiego Avenue.

- The great football returns to Lodz, to its natural environment. It is the best place where this championship could take place. Attendance at our league matches and also at friendly matches held in Lodz confirms that our city lives and breathes football. Therefore, I would like Polish team to play here not only in three group matches but in the final too during the upcoming world cup. I wish this to myself and to all Poles. I hope that today’s visitation will confirm our very good preparation for this tournament. Obviously, as always in such cases, there are petty reservations, however we meet to explain and determine everything on a current basis, what next - said Mayor of Lodz Hanna Zdanowska.

A Head of the FIFA Tournaments Department Jaime Yarza did not hide satisfaction with the hitherto prevailing cooperation with Lodz authorities. - The key to organizational success will obviously be involvement from each party but, already now, I can emphasize very good cooperation with the authorities of Lodz. We have common goals and agreeably strive for their achievement - said Yarza.

He added that representatives of the FIFA visited Lodz for the third time. - Previously, we came in smaller teams to assess the condition of the grass at the stadium and in the training centres. Now, the group comprising over a dozen persons does not only inspect the pitches but also hotels in which participants of the championship will be accommodated. As Ms Mayor said, small adaptation works will be necessary still, however it is nothing serious. One must remember at the same time that any and all investments carried out in view of the championship will remain in the city and will be of service to residents of Lodz - explain Yarza.

For the FIFA, the U-20 world cup is the third event in terms of importance and it gives up its place only to the senior world championship of men and women. - During this event, the name of Lodz will be pronounced by the whole world since for two months this city will become the world centre of youth football. We would like, among others, families with children as well as young footballers fascinated with football to appear at the stadium during this world cup. I hope that the championship next year will be an event which will leave its permanent and positive stamp on further history of Lodz - summed up the Head of the FIFA Tournaments Department.

Marek Doliński coordinates activities related to organization of the next year’s championship on behalf of the Polish Football Association. The Director of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019 praised, for example, the application for organization of the cup filed by Lodz authorities. - We are glad that Lodz does not only slowly return to its proper place in the club football but also to the international arena. Thanks to the fantastically prepared application documentation, which was jointly handed over by us to the FIFA, Lodz has been selected as the Host City of the U-20 World Cup. Here are friendly, hospitable people who love football and excellent hotel and football infrastructure, at the head with one of the most modern 18-thousand stadiums in Europe. A decision has already been made that during the championship in Lodz, referees will have their base camp - said Doliński.  

He also informed that the Polish Football Association has already activated a recruitment platform for voluntary services during the World Cup. This offer is addressed to people who in March 2019 will turn 18 years of age. - There are a number of projects for which need volunteers. It is an opportunity to gain new experience and job in international environment but also an opportunity to spend time in a nice way - ended Doliński.

Since 1977, the FIFA U-20 World Cup have been played every two years. It is referred to as the factory of talents. However, it is no wonder if such footballers took part in it as: Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi or Sergio Aguero. The next year’s tournament starts on 23 May and ends on 15 June. The opening match and the final will be played in Lodz at the stadium at 138 Piłsudskiego Avenue. Its group matches will also be played here by Polish national team with Jacek Magiera as a coach.

Apart from Poland, the event will already be attended by national teams of Italy, Portugal, Ukraine, France, Norway, New Zealand and Tahiti. Qualification tournaments will select additionally 4 participants from Asia, Africa, South America and CONCACAF Zone each.

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