Infantino confirms Argentina are frontrunners to pick up U-20 World Cup hosting

March 31 – Argentina is the frontrunner to host the U-20 World Cup which FIFA stripped from Indonesia over the country’s hostility toward finalists Israel. The South American country has submitted a formal bid to host the tournament, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said on Thursday.

“We all know Argentine football and surely it can host a competition of this level,” Infantino told a news conference in Paraguay.

“There are other countries that have also announced interest but as a candidacy, with the government’s guarantees and other details, Argentina is the first and we will make the decision in two or three days.”

The FIFA Bureau is expected to take the decision, but Infantino may shed more light on the future host at the Conmebol Congress he will attend on Friday.

FIFA stripped Indonesia of the hosting rights after the country’s football federation (PSSI) said they had cancelled the draw because the governor of the island of Bali refused to host the Israel team. The intervention came as an embarrassment to both FIFA and Indonesia.

Zurich wants to stage the youth World Cups on an annual basis but is struggling to properly organise both the U-20 World Cup and U-17 World Cup, due to be staged in Peru, this year. Indonesia considered the tournament an exercise in reputation-building after the stadium stampede that killed 135 fans but instead the debacle has further tarnished the country’s image in football.

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