Northern Ireland has been chosen to host the Men’s Under-19 European Championship finals in 2024.
The move by UEFA’s Executive Committee comes after the Irish Football Association missed out on staging the 2020 edition of the finals due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The UEFA men’s tournament was to have been held in Belfast, Ballymena, Lurgan and Portadown from 19 July to 1 August last year. It was then postponed until November before being pushed back to the spring of this year and subsequently cancelled.
Gerard Lyttle, Northern Ireland's U17 and U19 men's manager said: "This is great news for the ongoing development of youth football in Northern Ireland. This tournament has a rich history of showcasing the very best young talent in European football and it will be a privilege to welcome our neighbours across the continent to this wonderful country of ours. It’s exciting news and something our entire football family is looking forward to."
This summer’s Men’s U19 Euros have also been cancelled. They were scheduled to be staged in Romania in late June/July. Instead Romania will now host the tournament in 2025.
The 2022 UEFA European U19 Championship finals will be staged in Slovakia, while Malta will host them in 2023.
A new qualifying format is set to be introduced in time for the eight-team 2024 final tournament in Northern Ireland. It will feature UEFA Nations League-style groups in a two-season cycle.
The 2024 final tournament will also act as qualifiers for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2025.
The UEFA Executive Committee announced the host associations for forthcoming men’s and women’s U19 and U17 final tournaments at a meeting in Montreux, Switzerland, earlier today.