Zainudin: 2019 Youth World Cup bid also about Singapore youth

The FAS president is banking on the nation being able to host the tournament, which would spur the younger generation of athletes to play against the world’s best players
In September last year, Football Association of Singapore (FAS) president Zainudin Nordin announced at the FAS Annual General Meeting (AGM) that talks to hold an edition of one of Fifa's Youth World Cups was already underway.

Should they win the bid, Zainudin explained during the AGM, the tournament will "enhance Singapore's reputation as a venue for international events and also add another dimension to our sporting culture".

Now, five months later, he has reignited the possibility of the Youth World Cup taking place in Singapore when he spoke during the Q&A segment of the Sports Hub media preview event last week.

“It’s forward thinking and we have mentioned this when I took the presidency again that we are in negotiations to pitch for the Youth World Cup in 2019,” Zainudin said.

“We have gone to visit the last Youth World Cup in the Middle East to see how this tournament could be brought over to Singapore and we are in the midst of discussions with the relevant parties.”

In addition to confirming the application for the bid, Zainudin is placing a higher importance on the impact the tournament can have on the youths here in Singapore.

“We are as excited as you are and we want to bring the Youth World Cup, but the Youth World Cup is not just about a World Cup event,” Zainudin said.

“If we believe in sports motivating and bringing back the dynamism, I think we need to talk to the young people. The young people must be excited about sports and I think the Youth World Cup, if we are able to bring the young talents of the future, will be able to spur our young Singaporeans to play against the best.

“Our young players will be seen on television all around the world, that’s what are talking about, so it’s about the future generation by bringing the excitement, bringing such a competition into the stadium and making it happen for Singapore fans.”

Singapore hosted the inaugural editions of the Asian Youth Games in 2009 and the Youth Olympic Games in 2010 and will be banking on those experiences to host the Youth World Cup in 2019, if it materialises.

Fifa currently holds the Under-20 and Under-17 World Cups every two years. The 2013 U20 one was held in Turkey while the U17 version took place in UAE. The 2015 U20 and U17 World Cups will be held in New Zealand and Chile respectively.