FIFA president Gianni Infantino confirmed on Monday Argentina as the host country for the U20 World Cup to be held between May 20 and June 11 next year. “FIFA is pleased to announce that this year’s edition of the U-20 World Cup will take place in Argentina, so the country of the current world champions will open its doors to the great stars of tomorrow’s world soccer,” said the head of the organization’s official statement. The draw for the groups will take place this Friday, April 21 in Zurich, Switzerland (it was scheduled for March 30 but was rescheduled).

“The draw will be held in Zurich on Friday, April 21, with confirmed venues, with the objective of knowing which matches will be played and in which venue for each team, in order to enable the purchase of tickets,” said Jaime Yerza, FIFA’s Director of Competitions, during the event held on Monday, April 21, during the ceremony held this Monday afternoon at the ‘Lionel Andrés Messi’ venue in Ezeiza to announce Argentina as the new venue after the withdrawal of Indonesia for non-footballing reasons, following the Asian country’s refusal to allow Israel to participate in the tournament due to the fact that diplomatic relations between the two countries are broken.

The countries that have qualified for the U-20 World Cup

Argentina replaced Indonesia among the qualifiers after failing to meet the objectives in the South American Championship (they did not make it to the final hexagonal and therefore did not reach one of the places at stake). The countries that qualified for the South American Confederation (Conmebol) were Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia and Ecuador; for the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), England, France, Italy, Israel and Slovakia qualified, while in the Asian Confederation (AFC), South Korea, Japan, Uzbekistan, New Zealand and Iraq did the same. In Oceania (OFC), Fiji qualified; in Africa (CAF), Gambia, Senegal, Tunisia and Nigeria; and finally, in Central and North America (Concacaf), the United States, Honduras, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic, the only newcomer, qualified.

  • Pot 1: Argentina, Uruguay, United States, Italy, France and Senegal.
  • Pot 2: Ecuador, England, New Zealand, Brazil, Colombia and South Korea.
  • Pot 3: Nigeria, Honduras, Fiji, Uzbekistan, Japan and Iraq.
  • Draw 4: Dominican Republic, Israel, Slovakia, Tunisia, Gambia and Guatemala.

Taking into account that stadiums can only be used during the extension of the World Cup for that purpose, some outstanding and renowned venues such as the Monumental, La Bombonera, the Cilindro de Avellaneda or the Libertadores de América, are ruled out because River, Boca, Racing and Independiente are in full season. Thus, other alternatives appear.

The AFA proposed nine stadiums to FIFA to host the U-20 World Cup: Único Diego Armando Maradona in La Plata, San Juan del Bicentenario, Malvinas Argentinas in Mendoza, Mario Alberto Kempes in Córdoba, Único Madre de Ciudades in Santiago del Estero, Único de Villa Mercedes (La Pedrera) in San Luis, Padre Ernesto Martearena in Salta, Centenario in Chaco and Carlos Augusto Mercado Luna in La Rioja.

Six of these venues were inspected by the FIFA delegation in the last few days: those of San Juan, Mendoza, Santiago del Estero, San Luis, Chaco and La Plata, so, in the absence of official confirmation, they are the favorites to host the other 23 teams that have qualified for the ecumenical tournament. Last Wednesday, 12 specialists disembarked in the country to check the conditions of hotels, training centers and details of each stadium. They analyzed each place and suggested the necessary reforms taking into account that it will be an emergency World Cup, so everything must be ready in less than a month.

“In this technical visit that we have had, which ends today, FIFA members have been able not only to visit the stadiums where the games will be played and will surely be the venues. Claudio ‘Chiqui’ Tapia said at the signing of guarantees with the government on the morning of Monday 17, “We have also been able to visit the training grounds that our institutions have so that the world teams can train”.

Table of U-20 World Cup champions

  • Argentina: six titles (1979, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2005 and 2007).
  • Brazil: five (1983, 1985, 1993, 2003 and 2011).
  • Portugal: two (1989 and 1991).
  • Serbia: two (1987 and 2015).
  • Ukraine: one (2019).
  • England: one (2017).
  • France: one (2013).
  • Ghana: one (2009).
  • Spain: one (1999).
  • Germany: one (1981).
  • Russia: one (1977).

Categorized in: