Argentina have emerged as the favourite to replace Indonesia as the host of the 2023 FIFA U20 World Cup.
The South American country submitted a formal bid to stage the tournament after FIFA stripped Indonesia of its hosting rights. The decision is expected to be made by the FIFA Bureau in two to three days, with the tournament scheduled to start on May 20.
Nigeria’s Flying Eagles, two-time finalists at the World Cup, are among the teams scheduled to participate in the tournament if Argentina is confirmed as the host.
The Nigerian side finished third in the recently concluded CAF U20 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, and the team is expected to make a strong showing at the 2023 World Cup.
The FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, praised Argentina’s bid to host the tournament, saying that the country’s footballing tradition made it a natural choice to stage the competition. “We all know Argentine football, and surely it can host a competition of this level,” Infantino said at a news conference in Paraguay (as per VON).
While other countries have expressed an interest in hosting the tournament, Argentina was the only country to submit a formal bid.
Israel’s ambassador to Argentina, Eyal Sela, said that Israel was in favour of Argentina hosting the tournament and added that the country deserved it as world champions.
Argentina previously hosted and won the tournament in 2001, beating Ghana 3-0 in the final.
The country has a rich footballing history, having won the U20 World Cup a record six times and produced some of the greatest players in the game, including Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona.
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