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Under-17 World Cup to be held yearly -FIFA

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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, world football governing body said 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.

The last men’s Under-17 World Cup was held in 2023 with Germany winning their first title. Spain won the women’s edition in 2022.

Qatar hosted the 2022 senior men’s World Cup in winter while Morocco are one of the co-hosts for the 2030 edition.

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. Last month, he called for teams to face automatic defeat if their fans displayed racist behaviour.

“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.

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