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Yahoo! teams up with Canada for U-20 World Cup

18 April 2007 at 09:27 | 755 views

By Abayomi Charles Roberts in Edmonton

“The Mexico edition in 1983 has had the largest accumulative audience registered at FIFA - 1, 155,160, according to FIFA.com. Whatever the math used here, Canada looks set to smash it this summer.”
- www.thepatrioticvanguard.com (February 8, 2007).

Canadians are renowned for hosting global sporting events; consistently impressing partners, athletes, visitors and the world at large. Now ‘Yahoo! Canada’ has teamed up with the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) for the coming FIFA Under-20 Championships.

The Montreal Olympics, the Commonwealth Games, the Winter Olympics, the IAAF World Athletics Championships, and the inaugural FIFA Under-19 World Cup (Women). You name it and Canada has handled it. Canada has excelled in both organization and hospitality. It promises to be no different this time when the Canucks tackle the 16th FIFA World Youth Championships in June/July, 2007.

Called the Junior World Cup of football, it is a competitive showcase for budding soccer stars in countries across the globe. The tournament takes place every two years. This year, in Canada, 24 national squads will sweat it out from June 30 to July 22. Canada will also be in the race as hosts.

“It’s gonna be huge!” This is the slogan for the tournament that is nicknamed ‘Canada 2007.’ With less than three months to go, even FIFA body is already impressed. A top official is quoted to have conceded: “The tag line for Canada 2007 is looking more and more prophetic with every passing month. ‘ It’s Gonna Be Huge!’ is no longer merely a hopeful slogan but more a matter of plain fact,” quotes FIFA.com.

These compliments, published recently, about two months after The Patriotic Vanguard made a similar projection, is prompted by the record sale of tickets for the 52 matches, in advance. Fans have already snapped up some 600, 000 tickets so far - quite a feat!

In this sporting spirit, the Canadian component of Yahoo! has pitched in. It is helping the CSA reach the widest audience, with an innovative package for interactive soccer fans. The cyber giant was recently introduced as the CSA’s official online partner and a national team sponsor. Yahoo! Canada is, in addition, a ‘presenting sponsor’ for TIDE Mini Soccer. This is an international youth-development programme targeted at 5 to 10 year-old kids.

Yahoo! Canada also recently presented the Hyundai Canadian Men’s U-20 Tour. In this tour, some warm-up matches are to be played by Team Canada. One of the qualifiers for the FIFA tournament, Scotland, featured in the first two games. Both matches took place in British Columbia (BC). The Canadians beat the Scots 3-1 in the first clash in Coquitlam on March 24 but lost to the visitors in the next match. Scotland won 2-1 at the Royal Atlantic Park (Stadium) in Victoria, on March 27.

Another friendly in the same series comes up on Friday May 11, when the Cup holders Argentina come to Canada. That match is in Toronto. Yahoo! Canada has also launched a web site for avid soccer fans (thekick.yahoo.ca).

Photo: Canadian soccer star, Christine Sinclair, at the Draw for fixtures on March 3
(Credit: FIFA/David Lucas)

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