The men’s FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023 is on the horizon, a tournament that gives fans a closer look at the young talent ready to take the world by storm. Players eligible to participate in the 2023 tournament have to be 20 years old or younger, born on or after January 1, 2003. Players must also be born on or before 31 December 2007 in order to participate. While many of these players will be a few years away from superstardom by the time the tournament kicks off, they are definitely names to look out for in the future. The likes of Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba, Sergio Aguero, and Adama Traore all won the Golden Ball for best player at past men’s U-20 World Cups. Erling Haaland won the Golden Boot as top scorer of the most recent event in 2019. The Sporting News brings you a closer look at the tournament, as well as which countries have secured passage to the upcoming tournament.
When & where is the 2023 Men’s FIFA U-20 World Cup?
According to the latest FIFA media release in June, the 2023 U-20 World Cup will take place from May 20 — June 11, 2023. The tournament will be held in Indonesia, the first FIFA tournament held in the country, and the second U-20 World Cup held in Southeast Asia since the 1997 edition was contested in Malaysia.
Ukraine are the defending champions, having won the 2019 edition of the tournament with a 3-1 final victory over South Korea. But the Ukrainians will not be able to defend their title after failing to qualify to the UEFA Under-19 championship. The 2021 tournament was cancelled due to COVID-19. The most successful team in the history of the competition is Argentina, having won six times. Argentina last won the 2007 tournament in Canada, capping a stretch of five titles across seven tournaments.
How many teams are in the FIFA U20 World Cup 2023?
The men’s 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup, held every two years (the 2021 event was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic), features 24 teams coming together to compete for the U-20 World Cup trophy. The host nation Indonesia qualifies automatically. Here’s how the other 23 tickets to the tournament are distributed around the world:
Region Confederation U-20 World Cup
Africa CAF 4
Asia AFC 4
Europe UEFA 5
North America CONCACAF 4
Oceania OFC 2
South America CONMEBOL 4
Each region will host a youth tournament which will determine the nations to qualify from that specific zone. For example, North America’s confederation CONCACAF will hold its bi-annual Under-20 championship tournament in the summer of 2022, with the four semifinalists qualifying directly to the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
The 24 nations that qualify will be drawn into six groups of four teams. The top two finishers in each group advance to the knockout stage, together with the four third-place teams with the most points. The Round of 16 kicks off a single-elimination bracket through to the final, much like the senior men’s World Cup format.
FIFA U-20 World Cup trophy
Which teams have qualified for U20 World Cup 2023?
Indonesia qualified automatically as hosts of the men’s 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup, and they’ve already been joined by the first three teams from Europe. North America, Europe and Oceania are all holding their continental championships in the summer of 2022 to determine those confederation’s representatives, while South America, Asia, and Africa will all hold their tournaments in the early part of 2023. Russia has been banned due to the invasion of Ukraine, and will not be eligible to participate in UEFA qualifying.