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The final countdown for the U-20 World Cup has begun

There are less than 200 days to go until the opening of the U-20 World Cup, which starts on May 20 and takes place in Korea from May to June next year.

To commemorate Tuesday, the Korea Football Association (KFA) began selling venue packages that allow access to all Group Stage and Round of 16 matches played at a single stadium. The venues for the World Cup are Suwon, Jeonju, Daejeon, Cheonan, Incheon and Jeju. According to the KFA, the package will be sold at a 30 percent discount.

“This is a meaningful day,” said Chung Mong-gyu, the president of the KFA and head of the World Cup organizing committee, according to Yonhap News Agency on Tuesday. “We expect next year’s tournament to rock South Korea.”

The 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup is a biennial international men’s youth football tournament contested by U-20 teams of 24 nations. With six different cities in Korea hosting the football championship, the 2017 U-20 World Cup makes Korea one of three nations to have hosted all FIFA men’s tournaments. Korea co-hosted the 2002 World Cup and 2001 Confederations Cup with Japan.

Korea qualified automatically as the host nation while Japan made it into the event by winning this year’s Asian Football Confederation U-19 Championship. Other than Japan, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Vietnam also gained berths from Asia.

From Europe, global football elites England, France, Germany, Italy and Portugal, will be travelling to Korea for the event, adding more excitement for the local fans about the coming football competition.

By Choi Hyung-jo

Russia lags behind on its 2018 World Cup schedule

MOSCOW - Two more stadiums for the 2018 World Cup in Russia have fallen behind schedule, this time in the cities of Volgograd and Nizhny Novgorod.

An amendment to spending plans published on a Russian government website has changed to 2018 the dates when both stadiums will be ready for use. They had previously been listed for completion in December 2017.

The new document did not specify exactly when in 2018 the two stadiums, which will each hold 45,000 fans, would be completed.

The delays at the Nizhny Novgorod and Volgograd stadiums follow earlier troubles at other arenas, most notably the 68,000-seat stadium in St. Petersburg, which has endured repeated delays and cost increases in a decade-long construction project.

World Cup organizers have not commented on the latest delays, but have previously said they expect all stadiums to be ready for the tournament.

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