Papua New Guinea’s U-20 FIFA Women’s World Cup to be an array of young talent

With women’s sport gaining momentum around the world there have been few better times for Papua New Guinea to host the eighth FIFA Women’s Under 20 World Cup.

Official mascot for FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup revealed at Sir John Guise stadium Source: FIFA

Official mascot for FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup revealed at Sir John Guise stadium Source: FIFA

The best young talent women’s football has to offer will be on show in Port Moresby from November 13 when PNG takes on Brazil in the opening match under lights at the newly refurbished Sir John Guise Stadium.

There are also commercial opportunities. ‘A FIFA World Cup brings revenue opportunities through ticketing revenues, government and private funding, FIFA subsidy funding, food and beverage concessions and partnerships with national supporters,’ a FIFA report comments.

‘Unlike the FIFA World Cup, the tournament is staged every two years. PNG and Venezuela are the only newcomers.’

PNG has earned its place in the competition because it is the host nation.

Teams

The 16 teams include perennial winners Germany and the United States who have each won the global championship three times. Only Korea DPR has come between them when it won in 2006 in Russia.

The FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup emblem Source: FIFA

The FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup emblem Source: FIFA

PNG’s national emblem, the colourful bird of paradise, is the official mascot for the World Cup

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Unlike the FIFA World Cup, the tournament is staged every two years. PNG and Venezuela are the only newcomers. The highest attendance record was set by Germany in 2010 when 395,295 fans watched matches. The average attendance was 12,353 per match.

Sweden, making only its second appearance in the U-20 World Cup, is in Group A, along with PNG. Their match on November 16 will be one to savour.

The match will feature the young woman regarded as the world’s best in her age group, Sweden’s Stina Blackstenius. She shone in the UEFA Under 19 championships last year

The so-called “group of death” for this World Cup would appear to be Group B with Canada, Japan, Nigeria and Spain fighting it out.

‘Support for the tournament is quickly building in PNG, particularly from the football-mad provinces of  Morobe, Madang and Milne Bay.’

Nigeria, ranked fourth in the world at this age level, made the finals in 2010 and 2014. Spain showed, by reaching the U19 UEFA final last year, that it will be a real threat.

Canada, ranked eighth, was runner-up in 2002 when it hosted the tournament and it was a quarter-finalist in 2014. Japan, ranked ninth, finished third in 2012.

Support

Support for the tournament is quickly building in PNG, particularly from the football-mad provinces of  Morobe, Madang and Milne Bay.

Since the successful hosting of the OFC Nations Cup and the Tri-Nations series between PNG, Japan and the USA, in May, World Cup fever is on the march.

‘Organisers are hoping that the young women players from the visiting teams can be role models.’

At grass roots level FIFA recently launched legacy programs ‘Live Your Goals’ and  ‘FIFA 11 for Health’ which embraces schools, trainers, and the general population of  Port Moresby and will endure beyond the three weeks of the tournament.

Gender equality

The World Cup is also a platform to provide an opportunity for women’s issues to be highlighted in a country like PNG.

Organisers are hoping that the young women players from the visiting teams can be role models whose  stories inspire PNG’s young women and girls to excel in their respective careers.

‘PNG’s national emblem … has been nicknamed Susa, which means sister.’

David Chung, PNG Football Association president, said gender equality remains a significant social challenge in the country.

“We hope this tournament will create further awareness and promote change towards a more egalitarian society,” he says.

PNG’s national emblem, the colourful bird of paradise, is the official mascot for the World Cup, and has been nicknamed Susa, which means sister.

The Groups

Group A – PNG, Brazil, Sweden, Korea DPR.

Group B -Spain Canada, Japan, Nigeria.

Group C – France, USA, Ghana , New Zealand.

Group D – Germany, Venezuela, Mexico, Korea Republic.

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Junior Bill says:

    Japan what a nice game played. Keep up the good work.. Team Brazil know matter you lose but you guys have the chance to keep going.

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