Turkey's U20 World Cup Fails To Draw Big Crowds, Could Hurt Country's Future Bids
The record-low attendance at the FIFA U20 World Cup "could damage Turkey's chances of hosting major tournaments, including the 2020 Olympics and the 2024 European Championship," according to the AP. Ahead of Saturday's final and third place playoff encounter, "the turnout had averaged only 5,230 spectators over 50 matches, by far the lowest figure in the 36-year history of the competition." The next lowest "was an average of 9,667 in the Netherlands eight years ago." FIFA tournament organizing committee Chair Jim Boyce called the many empty seats "one negative point." Boyce: "Turkey has proved that they can organize very smoothly from all other aspects of a major competition. So I honestly hope that does not have an adverse effect on the future. But it is still disappointing." LOC President Servet Yardimci "announced an investigation into the poor turnout." Yardimci: "We are working on this issue. This is a very disappointing result, there must be reasons for this. We are trying to find out the reasons and how we can learn a very important lesson" (AP, 7/13).