2013 brimming with Med area sports events

Under20 Soccer World Cup in Turkey, European Fencing in Croatia

28 December, 16:21

(ANSAmed) ROME, DECEMBER 28 - The year about to begin holds a wealth of sporting events in store for the Mediterranean area, with important international football tournaments as well as highlights from other sports: from the International Under-20 Football World Cup to the World Swimming Championship in Barcelona. Football is undoubtedly the sport that unites the entire Med area, and the focus will be on Turkey in 2013. Straddling Asia and Europe, the country will be hosting the International Under-20 Cup, the FIFA tournament giving recognition to the youths most likely to take over from the likes of Messi, Cristiano and Ibra. The tournament kicks off on June 21 and the matches will be held in seven cities across the country: Antalya, Bursa, Gaziantep, Istanbul, Kayseri, Rize and Trabzon.

All seven stadiums have recently received FIFA authorisation and are therefore ready, after some renovation, to host the competition which will see many vying for the title with the Brazil champions (who won the trophy in Colombia in 2011). In June a historical event will be held in Israel: from June 5 to June 8, the country will play host to the European Under-21 championships, the most important European event in the football sphere. Israel has prepared carefully for the event, even building new stadiums. But 2013 will also be a year to remember for Morocco : from December 11 to December 21, the North African country will be hosting the World FIFA championships in the Agdir and Marrakesh stadiums. But there is not just football. The World Swimming Championships, for example, are eagerly awaited. Held in Shanghai in 2011, in 2013 they will be in Barcelona from July 19 to August 4. Given the economic crisis, the Catalans prepared for the event with a close eye on their purse strings: no new swimming pools, but only some restyling. The Palau San Jordi, built for the Olympics in 1992, will be hosting the swimming and synchronised swimming events, the Bernat Picornell pools will be the site of the pool volleyball tournament and the Montjuic pool will be the proscenium for diving events. Zagreb, will be hosting the European Fencing Championship from June 16 to June 21. The Italian stars of the London Olmypics will be making their way to Croatia, ready to go up against the French, Hungarian and Russian champions, as well as the Croatian home team. And, as usual, the Formula One races will be held, with Arab sheikhs as their top fans . Race car driving will thus begin in Bahrain on April 21 and come back at the end of the World Championships with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 3. Doha's track will instead see runners coming from across the world to compete on May 10 in the splendid 15,000-seat Qatar Sports Club for the inaugural event of the Diamond League (the circuit of the most important competitions in the world). The champions of the race track and equipment will break the ice and aim to set their first records, while awaiting the June 6 show in Italy at Rome's traditional Golden Gala. And then there will be another event in Turkey, which will give a running start to young sports stars: the Under21 World Volleyball Championships will be held between August 22 and September 1 in the Ankara and Smyrna sports facilities.



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