ISTANBUL: Attendance figures in Turkey for the 2013 FIFA World U-20 Youth Cup were even more disappointing than first sight suggested writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Official statistics drawn from the world federation’s match report of each of the 52 games suggests that the aggregate attendance for the tournament was 293,795. That would compute to an average of 5,649 fans per match.

However, the 52 matches included 21 double-headers: all 36 group games, the second round matchdays in Istanbul and Gaziantep plus the third place play-off and the final in Istanbul.

Official reports list the same attendance at each pair of double-headers.

Hence the official statistics offer an aggregate total of fans attending the tournament to be augmented artificially since the finals comprised 52 matches but only 31 matchdays.

By counting only once those fans who attended the double-headers the average attendance per match is drops only marginally to 5,609. However the total number of people who turned up for the matches per single-stadium matchday is revealed as reduced significantly to 173,741.

Such figures will make FIFA think twice – or even three times – before rushing back to Turkey.

European federation UEFA may also take a closer view of any bid proposals should Turkey pursue host rights to any of its youth events.

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