S'pore's plan to host 2019 Youth World Cup can incite and excite

S'pore's plan to host 2019 Youth World Cup can incite and excite

The local football fraternity has been buzzing after the announcement of Singapore's interest to host either the Under- 17 or Under-20 World Cup in 2019.

What is clear is that any plan would require a detailed blueprint to ensure not just the tournament's success, but also a legacy for the development of Singapore football.

ATM FA coach B Sathianathan was Malaysia's Under-20 coach when they hosted the World Youth Championship in 1997.

Malaysia billed their masterplan Project 97, and speaking to The New Paper on Sep 25, the 55-year old coach said: "We made our intentions to host the tournament known in 1993, and the whole country was excited because it had not been held in Southeast Asia since the event was founded in 1977.

"It was an eye-opener for Malaysians... it showed how far our football lagged behind the rest of the world.

"I would say it played a big part to Malaysia's subsequent success at Under-23 level when we won the 2009 and 2011 SEA Games, even though it was more than a decade after the 1997 World Youth Championship.

"Also, many players from that tournament, such as Thierry Henry, Pablo Aimar, Shunsuke Nakamura and Michael Owen, went on to be some of the most famous footballers in the world."

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