Canada Takes First Step in Hosting Tournament

OTTAWA, ONTARIO – The Canadian Soccer Association today announced it has requested the hosting guidelines from FIFA for the 2003 World Youth Championship (Under-20) in the […]

OTTAWA, ONTARIO – The Canadian Soccer Association today announced it has requested the hosting guidelines from FIFA for the 2003 World Youth Championship (Under-20) in the hopes of staging the event in North America for the first time.

“We have requested this information from FIFA with a view towards submitting a bid for the 2003 World Youth Championship,” said CSA president Jim Fleming. “Should the requirements be in line with our ability to host this prestigious event, we will pursue this further and hope to host one of the premier events on the world soccer stage.”

Canada last hosted a FIFA-sanctioned world tournament in 1987 when Toronto, ON; Montreal, QC; St. John’s, NFLD and St. John, NB acted as host cities for the Under-17 World Championship. A sell-out crowd watched the semi-final of the tournament between Italy and Nigeria at Varsity Stadium in Toronto.

The bi-annual World Youth Championship was last held in Nigeria in April 1999 and the 2001 event is to be held in Argentina. No date has yet been set for when the winning 2003 bid would be awarded. The last time the Football Confederation (CONCACAF) hosted the tournament was back in 1983 when it was held in Mexico.

The tournament is considered the second-most prestigious tournament after the World Cup and has helped launch the careers of such notable players as Diego Maradona (Argentina), Marco van Basten (Holland) and Junior (Brazil). Current Canadian national team goalkeeper Craig Forrest also competed in the tournament.

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Year Host Champion
1999 Nigeria Spain
1997 Malaysia Argentina
1995 Qatar Argentina
1993 Australia Brazil
1991 Portugal Portugal
1989 Saudi Arabia Portugal
1987 Chile Yugoslavia
1985 USSR Brazil
1983 Mexico Brazil
1981 Australia Germany
1979 Japan Argentina
1977 Tunisiat USSR

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