At 1pm on May 30 next year, the whistle will blow to kick off the first match for FIFA’s second largest male football event, the FIFA U-20 World Cup which will be held across the country. However, this Friday 30 May, fans in Auckland and Wellington will get a sneak taste of what that moment will feel like.
Major events at Auckland’s Aotea Square and Wellington’s Civic Square will mark the occasion, capped off in the evening with a friendly international match between the All Whites and South Africa at Mt Smart Stadium
“When organising a global event of this magnitude, a year is nothing. It will go by in a flash and with FIFA World Cup about to kick-off in Brazil, we are excited about the football fever that is kicking in across the country,” said Dave Beeche, CEO of FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015.
At Wellington’s Civic Square, New Zealand’s first full-size portable futsal pitch will be in place for a Futsal Festival running from today until Sunday 1 June with highlights including a match on Thursday 29 May (politicians v embassy ambassadors from top footballing nations) and on Friday 30 May, a celebrity game featuring a collection of top futsal players, local celebrities and football stars.
With the Futsal Festival running all week, it’s a great opportunity for the local community to head to Civic Square and have a go on the pitch.
“This tournament is about fun, skill, colour and a celebration of the Beautiful Game. That is what we want these One Year to Go events to be all about – to give people a small taste of what will soon be here on their doorstep in a year’s time,” said Beeche.
The countdown will be marked in Whangarei as well with leaders from local businesses who are backing the tournament in their region – ditching their suits and pulling on some footy gear to have an inter-business competition.
Everyone is welcome to attend the countdown activities.
Tickets for the FIFA U-20 World Cup are currently on sale to Official Fans. To become an official fan or for ticketing details go to www.fifa.com/NZ2015