Wednesday 27 December 2023, 17:30

FIFA U-20 World Cup 2025™ will inspire the next generation in Chile

  • Chile was announced last week as FIFA U-20 World Cup 2025™ hosts

  • Hosts were appointed by the FIFA Council during FIFA Club World Cup 2023™

  • It will be the second time Chile has hosted the tournament

Speaking at the FIFA Football Summit 2023, the President of the Chilean Football Association, Pablo Milad, said the country was proud to host the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2025™ after the South American nation was announced as hosts. Following a meeting of the FIFA Council ahead of the FIFA Club World Cup 2023™ semi-finals in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, it was announced that Chile will host the tournament for the second time, having previously hosted the 1987 edition.

“It was an honour [to be announced as hosts], I’m still very touched by the FIFA Council decision: it’s a great responsibility for us,” said Mr Milad. “We want to be the centre of football in our country for almost a month, so I’m very proud and very happy and grateful to FIFA and the FIFA Council. “It’s crystal clear for us that football is a social agent that leaves a mark on people's lives. We are working on comprehensive programmes for all school students across Chile that will start from the U-6s, who will all be motivated by seeing this FIFA U-20 World Cup™ to become professional players and the future stars of world football. “That’s the legacy, the motivation behind hosting a FIFA U-20 World Cup™ in our country.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chilean youth football came to a halt for almost two years. Thanks to the support of the FIFA Forward Programme, the Chilean Football Association (FFCH) resumed the U-21 and U-18 youth championships in December 2021 with 43 clubs from all of the country’s regions. Since 2016, the FIFA Forward Programme invested more than USD 3 million to support travel, accommodation and the health protocols required by the pandemic. The federation considers that the national youth football championship contributes to the progress of youth teams and to the creation of a culture of child safeguarding through competition. For this reason, it prioritised football at all levels and disciplines, including men’s, women’s, and youth football.

Chile has a proud history in the FIFA U-20 World Cup™, having finished fourth in 1987 in front of their home crowd before claiming a bronze medal in the 2007 edition falling to Sergio Agüero's and Ángel Di María's eventual champions Argentina in the semi-final before defeating Austria in the third-place play-off. Despite their rich record in the age group, 2025 will be Chile’s first FIFA U-20 World Cup™ appearance since qualifying for the quarter-final in the 2013 edition in Türkiye.

“We will put our heart into [organising the tournament] so that everyone can enjoy the best FIFA U-20 World Cup possible,” said Mr Milad. “We are looking forward to seeing you in Chile. A country where you can enjoy both climatic extremes and where people will welcome you with open arms.” It will be the fifth FIFA tournament held in Chile following the FIFA World Cup 1962™, the aforementioned FIFA U-20 World Cup 1987, the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2008™ and FIFA U-17 World Cup 2015™.