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Fans react to news that U17 World Cup will be held every year in Qatar

From next year, the FIFA U17 World Cup will be held annually. The tournament has been a biannual event since 1985, but the next five editions, beginning in 2025, will take place in Qatar.

U17 World Cup to be expanded in Qatar and Morocco

The U17 World Cup will be expanded to 48 teams, in line with the senior men’s World Cup, which will also expand to 48 nations in the 2026 edition.

FIFA also announced that the Women’s U17 World Cup will be annual starting in 2025, with Morocco hosting the next five tournaments. This will consist of 24-teams, which is an extension from the 16 that competed in the 2022 version.

FIFA said: “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.”

Qatar hosted a winter World Cup in 2022, which was won by Lionel Messi’s Argentina. Meanwhile, Morocco will co-host the 2030 World Cup with Portugal and Spain.

Fan reaction to FIFA announcement

Over on X.com (formerly Twitter), the Chief Football Writer of the I newspaper, Daniel Storey, said: “Every now and then, FIFA do something jaw-dropping. Announcement that the U17 World Cup will now take place every year and the first FIVE editions will all be in Qatar!”

@chrismgalloway said: “I’d say corrupt is a better word to use than jaw dropping. They really are a disgrace, and they know they can’t be stopped so do what they want.”

However, the reaction to the announcement was not entirely negative. @thewildwescht said: “There are some merits to this: u17s really should be held every year, or else entire cohorts can’t play at their underage peak. If it’s being held every year, there is an argument for a semi-permanent base to reduce cost.”


Will Murray

Freelance football journalist. Experience writing for When Saturday, Comes, Goalkeeper.com, Elite Scholars and Total Football Analysis. Recently finished an MA in Sport Journalism at the University of Brighton. Long-time season ticket holder at the two-time European Champions Nottingham Forest.

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