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Loughborough University is one of six venues chosen by UEFA and The Football Association (FA) to host the UEFA European Under-17 Championship final tournament in May next year. Imago Venues, Loughborough University’s commercial venue provider, will facilitate and provide event management support.

Alongside Burton Albion, Chesterfield, Rotherham United, St. George’s Park and Walsall, Loughborough University has been selected to host the annual UEFA tournament, which sees Europe’s 16 elite nations go head to head.

Chesterfield will host the opening game, and Rotherham United will stage the final, with fixtures taking place between 4-20 May. Tickets will go on sale in January with the final draw taking place at St. George’s Park in April.

John Steele, Loughborough University executive director of sport, commented:  “My colleagues and I are delighted that the 2018 UEFA European Under-17 Championships are coming to Loughborough University.

“Our purpose-built football stadium will make a fantastic host venue alongside some of the larger football league grounds, and this event will add to the growing portfolio of national and international sporting events we are able to host on campus.

“A major developmental football tournament of this nature fits with our ethos here at Loughborough, and who knows how many stars of the future will be unearthed.”

Wayne Rooney, Eden Hazard, Paul Pogba and Mario Götze are some of the famous names to have appeared at this level in the past with the competition acting as the perfect platform for young players to showcase their talents.

England, who won the European Under-17 title in 2010 and 2014 and also finished runners-up to Spain in 2017, qualified automatically for the tournament as hosts.

Focus on sports

Imago Venues has had links to major sporting events in the past due to the professional facilities available across its portfolio.

Emma Boynton, head of sales and marketing, commented: “As an award-winning venue we have time and again delivered exceptional events to host of clients from all sectors. The UEFA European Under-17 Championships will once again provide an opportunity for our customer service skills to shine and we look forward to welcoming players and supporters from around the world to what will be an exciting tournament.”

The appointment also means that England U17s will be hosting the men’s European Under-17 finals next summer. Head coach Steve Cooper commented: “We are very proud. St. George’s Park will be at the heart of training and matches, and all six venues will give the players an opportunity to perform at different stadiums.

Cooper added: “Rotherham and Walsall have hosted a number of England development and women’s team fixtures in the past while Burton Albion and Chesterfield are fantastic venues. Loughborough University is a world-renowned sport and educational establishment.

“The tournament gives the towns and regions an opportunity to see the best young talent from across the continent, and we are very much looking forward to the challenge.”

Aleksander Čeferin, UEFA president, said the European Under-17 Championship gives football fans an early opportunity to watch talented young footballers as they start out on what they hope will be successful careers in the game. “The competition also provides the youngsters with an ideal chance to perform on an international football stage.”