World Cup teams could play in Nelson

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Nelson may get some FIFA Under 20 World Cup action after all.

Sport Tasman has proposed to organisers that Nelson’s Trafalgar Park be used as venue for a warm-up match between either two of the tournament teams or between one of them and a local selection side.

Nigel Muir, chief executive of Sport Tasman, says it is keen to give Top-of-the-South football fans a taste of the World Cup, which starts on May 30.

“The world’s most exciting young footballers from all over the globe will be on display not to mention the colourful and passionate fan base that travels with them. Just like with Cricket World Cup 2015, we want people from the top of the South Island to be a part of the party,” says Nigel.

Nelson Bays Football, Mainland Football, Nelson City Council, the Nelson Regional Economic Development agency, and Nelson Tasman Tourism are all supportive of the proposal.

If it gets the go-ahead, any warm-up match will need to be played by mid-May as Trafalgar Park hosts a Super Rugby clash between the Crusaders and Hurricanes on May 29 and a week is needed to prepare the ground.

Mr Muir says using Trafalgar Park makes sense because since its re-development for the Rugby World Cup, it has become an excellent venue for football and home to the Nelson Marlborough Falcons, the national under 20 champions.

Also, local people have shown their support and enthusiasm for big sporting events, such as the Rugby World Cup and current Cricket World Cup, and would jump at the chance to see some of the best young footballers up close.