Empty U20 seats can harm Turkey's 2020 Olympic bid

Updated: July 12, 2013, 11:30 AM ET
Associated Press

ISTANBUL -- FIFA says the record-low attendance at the Under-20 World Cup could hurt Turkey's chances of hosting major tournaments, including the 2020 Olympics and the 2024 European Championship.

With only Saturday's final and third-place match remaining, the turnout has averaged only 5,230 spectators over 50 matches, by far the lowest figure in the 36-year history of the competition.

Jim Boyce, the chairman of the FIFA tournament organizing committee, says the empty seats are "one negative point."

Boyce says Turkey has "proved that they can organize very smoothly from all other aspects of a major competition so I honestly hope that does not have an adverse effect on the future. But it is still disappointing."

The local organizing committee plans to look into the reasons for the poor turnout.


Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index