Thursday 14 March 2024, 22:25

Qatar appointed as host of FIFA U-17 World Cup™ annually from 2025 to 2029

  • Qatar will stage the expanded 48-team tournament annually over a five-year period

  • Qatar Football Association one of first FIFA Member Associations given multi-year hosting rights

  • Existing FIFA World Cup 2022™ facilities and infrastructure will underpin project

Qatar will stage its third global FIFA tournament after the FIFA Council awarded the Gulf state multi-year hosting rights to the FIFA U-17 World Cup. The first Arab nation to stage a FIFA World Cup™ in 2022, Qatar will now see FIFA's expanded 48-team flagship men's youth tournament arrive on an annual basis between 2025 and 2029. Morocco will host the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup™ yearly over the same five-year period. While the expansion of participating nations was announced last year by President Gianni Infantino as part of FIFA's strategic objectives, the concept of giving the same country the FIFA U-17 World Cup over five years is an innovation, but is based on a similar rationale. The increased frequency of the tournament and the rise in the number of teams able to qualify means more young talents get the opportunity to showcase their skills and compete against the very best in the world in their age category more often.

The extended hosting period allows countries to optimise existing football facilities, and make best use of other infrastructure, such as transport and accommodation. The concept allows organisational structures to remain intact from one tournament to the next, enabling those working on the tournament to gain experience, maximising efficiency and reducing costs, while ensuring improved delivery year-on-year. "Qatar hosted the best-ever FIFA World Cup in 2022, welcoming the world to the first FIFA World Cup held in an Arab country. I am delighted to see a FIFA tournament returning there, making use of the fantastic facilities some of the world's best footballers enjoyed," said the FIFA President. "Qatar have already shown what wonderful tournament hosts they are, and combined with their peerless hospitality, the infrastructure and stadiums they already have in place will put the planet's top talents in the very best conditions to perform." A three-time AFC Asian Cup host nation, including the most recent edition in 2023, Qatar will be the stage on which the FIFA U-17 World Cups of the future are shaped. Shifting from a purely stadium-based model, the tournament will now resemble a festival of football, giving a fresh face to a competition that has proven a valuable learning ground for some of the biggest names in the game.