2015 Fifa Under-20 World Cup local organising committee
chief executive Dave Beeche explains his excitement about
the tournament to media at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin
yesterday. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Football fans are in for a treat when 24 teams and
thousands of fans descend on New Zealand for the 2015 Fifa
Under-20 World Cup, local organising committee chief executive
Dave Beeche says.
And the role to be played by Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium -
to be renamed Otago Stadium for the event - already had Fifa
representatives excited, Mr Beeche said yesterday.
''You've got one of the best stadiums in the southern
hemisphere ... Fifa are very excited about bringing the
Mr Beeche made his comments during a visit to Dunedin, its
roofed stadium and training facilities by Auckland-based
tournament organising committee members yesterday.
The trip aimed to introduce organisers to some of the key
groups within Dunedin that would help run the event,
including representatives from the Dunedin City Council,
Dunedin Venues Management Ltd and FootballSouth.
Dunedin would host seven of the tournament's 52 matches,
including six group games and a ''pool of 16'' match,
although the draw would not be known until January 2015.
Mr Beeche said yesterday's trip was a chance to discuss key
planning issues and to inspect the three training facilities
- Logan Park, University Oval and Caledonian grounds - that
would be used in Dunedin.
He was quick to declare the city's facilities, accommodation
and airport passed muster, but also took the chance to try to
ramp up enthusiasm for the event nearly two years before
''These guys are young, they're passionate, but half of them
are professional... and they play a fantastic skilful style
He predicted colourful crowds from around the world,
including Africa and Central America, would add to the
''They come along with their drums and their dancing and
their singing and it brings that real football vibe to the
stadium, and with a roofed stadium like this it's going to be
a fantastic, noisy atmosphere.''
About 9000 international fans were expected in New Zealand
for the event, and Australia was likely to be a key market
for tournament organisers.
''If Australia qualify it will obviously be a key focus for
us, but Australia houses a lot of people from Greece, Turkey,
Italy [and] Croatia.
''We'll be going hard on that market to try and attract them
over and support their teams.''
Organisers would be encouraging teams to travel to New
Zealand earlier to acclimatise, he said.
Fifa would send about 150 staff to New Zealand for the
tournament, and up to 1500 volunteers would be recruited to
help, including about 100-200 in Dunedin, he said.