Tonight was the final of the Fifa Under 20 Football World Cup. Probably most people now know that Serbia defeated Brazil in the last few minutes of extra time. This was of course upsetting for Brazil but exciting for Serbia which had their first major win as a new country.
There was a sell-out crowd at North Harbour stadium again tonight. The New Zealand organising committee believes that there will be a small profit from the 52 games. More than 300,000 attended these games.
New Zealand football has gained many other benefits from holding this tournament. In preparation for the tournament, host cities improved their facilities. Whangarei has a new park at Springs Flat and 2 new training fields. Christchurch has 3 new pitches as well as a multi-purpose field. These facilities will help Christchurch a great deal after it lost so many sports fields during the earthquakes.
Hosting the World Cup has also raised the profile of football. Already more children are playing futsal which is a game developed by Brazil in the 1930s. It has 5 team members on each side who play on a smaller field and it develops skills used in football.
Football is an important game for many of our migrants who come from countries where it is the number one sport. With more interest in the game and more facilities, migrants will have more opportunities to play here.
Visitors who travelled to watch games, spent money and that helped the New Zealand economy. Long term, there could be an increase in tourists from the 200 million people who watched the games on TV around the world.
Listen to May 27th 2015 to hear more about the Fifa Under 20 World Cup.
• Serbia became an independent country in 2006.
• In New Zealand, we usually call this game soccer. Football here mostly means rugby.
• sell-out crowd – all the tickets were sold
• pitch – field for a game
• raise the profile – this is an idiom. It means people will notice it more; it has more prestige