September 24 - The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) is lining up a bid to host a FIFA World Youth Cup, with bids to host the 2017 or 2019 events believed to be in the pipeline.
FAS President Zainudin Nordin confirmed that the interest in hosting the tournament was declared to FIFA at the national sports association's annual general meeting today.
"Our experience in hosting the inaugural editions of the Asian Youth Games in 2009 and Youth Olympic Games in 2010, coupled with the successful hosting of several high-profile international events such as the 117th International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session and the IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings in Singapore in the past few years has given us confidence that we could and should aspire to host key football-related events including a FIFA age-group competition sometime in the near future," he said.
"We humbly believe that Singapore has the capabilities to host such events which will help to further raise the appeal and popularity of sports including football, in Singapore."
FIFA hosts youth cups at under-17 and under-20 level on a biennial basis, and the older age group tournament was held in Turkey earlier this year, eventually won by France, while the under-17 competition is due to start in the United Arab Emirates next month.
A FIFA World Youth Cup was last held in Asia in 2007, when South Korea hosted the under-17 event, but the the last tournament held in South-East Asia was back in 1997, when Malaysia hosted the under-20's event.
"If we are serious about youth development, I think we need to go for the tournament that is worthy of exciting our young, and that tournament cannot be less than the Youth World Cup," continued Nordin.
"We can always aim for Asian Football Confederation or ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Football Federation competitions, but the Youth World Cup is the pinnacle.
"It will leave a long-lasting impression on our young, and they will be excited that football is something they want to look at seriously."
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