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17 April 2024

Under-17 World Cups to be held every year from 2025: FIFA

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By E247

The FIFA Under-17 World Cup will be held annually instead of biennially, with the next five editions from 2025 to take place in Qatar, Reuters reported, citing the world soccer's governing body on Thursday.

Like the senior men's World Cup, the Under-17 tournament will be expanded to 48 teams, FIFA said.

The women's Under-17 World Cup will also be played annually from 2025, with Morocco hosting an expanded 24-team event until 2029. The 2022 edition had 16 teams.

"This followed a global call for expressions of interest in hosting both competitions, with a focus on leveraging the use of existing footballing infrastructure in the interest of tournament efficiencies and sustainability," FIFA said.

FIFA also said a record $2.25 billion had been earmarked for the 2023-2026 cycle for investment in football development.

"Thanks to its solid financial governance, FIFA is well on track to exceed its budgetary target of $11 billion for the 2023-2026 cycle," FIFA President Gianni Infantino said at the FIFA Council meeting.

Infantino also called for the imposition of stricter measures to combat racism. "The 74th FIFA Congress will mark a milestone in FIFA's ongoing efforts to fight racism with new and stricter measures to be applied worldwide in cooperation with all our member associations and the confederations," Infantino added.

The annual report will be submitted for final approval at the FIFA Congress on 17th May, when the hosts for the 2027 Women's World Cup will also be voted on.

There are three bids for the tournament, including one from Brazil, a joint one from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, and another joint bid from Mexico and the United States.