Six South Korean cities will stage matches at the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup, it has been announced, with world football’s governing body also confirming the tournament will take place from May 20 to June 11.
Following an inspection carried out last month, Incheon, Daejeon, Cheonan, Jeju, Jeonju and Suwon have been chosen to host matches at the event, but capital city Seoul was eliminated from the competition despite staging South Korea’s semi-final defeat to Germany at the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
Ulsan also failed to make the grade while Pohang withdrew earlier in the bid competition due to a lack of accommodation facilities.
Out of the list of chosen venues, only Cheonan didn’t have matches at the 2002 World Cup, which was jointly hosted with Japan and was won by Brazil.
The 2017 event will be the first ever to be held in Asia and will see South Korea become only the third country to have hosted all of FIFA’s major men’s tournaments.
The Asian nation staged the 2001 Confederations Cup, in preparation for the World Cup the following year, as well as the 2007 U-17 World Cup, where Nigeria beat Spain on penalties in the final to lift their third title.
The U-20 tournament, which began with the inaugural competition in Canada in 2007, brings together the world’s top 24 youth sides.
Serbia will be looking to successfully defend their U-20 World Cup crown after they reigned supreme at the 2015 event as they claimed a surprise 2-1 win over Brazil after extra time in front of a 25,000 sell-out crowd at Auckland's North Harbour Stadium on June 20.
The competition is held every two years and has previously been hosted by Egypt, Colombia and Turkey.