The opening match of the FIFA U20 World Cup Turkey 2013 will kick-off in just over eight months. As the date of 21 June 2013 continues to count down, the Local Organising Committee (LOC) today will launch the official mascotat the historical 19th century Ottoman 'Esma Sultan', in Istanbul.
The mascot, was officially launched and live on national TV (TRT). TRT is also the host broadcaster of next summer's tournament that will feature 24 teams from around the world, including the Turkish U-20 National Team.
In attendance were Turkey Football Federation (TFF) President Yildirim Demiroren, Governor of Istanbul, Hüseyin Avni Mutlu, FIFA Executive Committee Member and TFF Honorary President Senes Erzik, TFF Executive Board members, TFF General Secretary Prof. Dr. Emre Alkin, Turkey senior team Head Coach Abdullah Avci, Turkey U-21 Head Coach Tolunay Kafkas, Turkey U-20 Head Coach Feyyaz Uçar, Turkey senior national player Burak Yilmaz and U-20 National Team players, plus representatives from Turkey's sports and art fraternity including Yalin who is the one famous pop stars of Turkey.Servet Yardımcı: We'll host the best FIFA U20 World Cup ever
In his speech, TFF Vice-President Servet Yardimci mentioned that: We are very excited to watch the stars of the future in our country which they will write their names into the World footbal history.I want to thank you our previous presidents Mahmut Özgener and Mehmet Ali Aydinlar and previous Executive Boards who contributed efforts in the bid process and hosting stage. I want also to thank our president Yildirim Demirören and oue Executive Board to endeavour for hisoting the best FIFA U20 World Cup ever.
I want to express my gratitude to oue honorary president Senes Erzik for all of his efforts and FIFA President, Mr. Sepp Blatter for his warm hospitality in the summit last September.
This tournament started on 1977 and raise its importance in every tournament in world's football economy. Finally, in 2011, over 1.3 million supporters follow the tournament from stadiums and millions of people watch the cup from TVs.During the tournament, we are expecting 1.5 million supporters in stadiums and 500 million football fans to watch the games from their TVs or other platforms. The matches will be broadcasted from TRT during the tournament which is Turkey's state national TV.
TFF, the mayors and governors of cities all aware that we have big responsibility in the aim of organizing FIFA U20 World Cup. We are also know that this is a very important tournament for us.
Turkey has the 6th biggest Football economy in European football as well as one the most developed football economies in the World. We gained experience in the previous international tournaments which we hosted in the past years. We are ready, faithful and self-confident to prove in the aim of host the best FIFA World Cup ever.3 generations came together
After Servet Yardimci's speech, Emre Asik, former A National Team Player, Burak Yilmaz, A National Team and Galatasaray striker, last season's Spor Toto Super League top goal scorer who played in this tournament in 2005 and Salih Uçan, U20 National Team and Fenerbahçe midfielder, came to stage and answered the questions of presenter about FIFA U20 World Cup.
Emre Asik who played in this cup in 1993 and the U20 National Team's assistant coach at the current said that this tournament is very important for players because after 1993' cup, many of my friends from the team had taken a transfer request. In this cup, our first aim is qualifying to next round from the group stage. Then, we'll do our best to win the title.
Burak Yilmaz who played in this cup in 2005 mentioned that we qualified to the next round in 2005 FIFA U20 World Cup. Current Galatasaray Midfielder Burak Yilmaz had also played in this team. This tournament acted a important part to provide the development in my football career.
Salih Uçan, talented and current U20 National player lastly claimed that we are aware that we'll take a part in an important cup. This team lost the chance to qualify to the finals which was held in Mexico in U17 level. We were so saddened about that. But now; we have the chance to play in the finals which can shift and push forward to our careers in the future.
Then the official Mascot of the tournament called 'Kanki' was invited to stage and he were acclaimed from the audience. Kanki were coming to the stage by making high five to Governor of Istanbul, Mr. Senes Erzik, Emre Asik, Burak Yilmaz, Selçuk Inan and the presenter orderly.