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The Federation of International Touch (FIT) has tonight announced Manchester, England, as host city of the 2021 Youth Touch World Cup (YWC).

FIT expects 50 teams from around the world to head to the city to compete in the summer of 2021.

The 2018 YWC, held in Putrajaya, Malaysia, marked a return for the tournament after a 13-year hiatus.

While nine nations contributed a combined 28 teams to Malaysia's event, FIT expects this figure to rise dramatically next year, given the recent growth of youth Touch in Europe.

As with the 2018 YWC, there will be six divisions in Manchester: Under-18s and Under-20s Boys, Girls and Mixed divisions.

The Australian Emus are the current World Champions, while England are the reigning European champions after a clean sweep of the 2019 European Junior Touch Championships in Paris.

England Touch Association was awarded the event by FIT based on its ability to host successful major international championships, including the 2018 European Championship in Nottingham.

“This expertise, combined with the comprehensive nature of the bid submitted by England Touch, was a key factor in the awarding of the Youth World Cup to England,” said President of FIT Erick Acker.

Speaking to FIT, England Touch Chair Mark Croston said that hosting the event in the UK would be an excellent opportunity to grow the sport in the region. “It is a privilege to be the first European nation to have been awarded the Youth Touch World Cup.

“Age group Touch is flourishing in Europe, and more nations than ever before will likely use this opportunity to test themselves against the best," he said.

“I am extremely confident that we will put on an outstanding and memorable event for the best young players and teams in the world. The 2018 Euros had a positive impact on Touch in England, and the 2020 Euros and now the 2021 Youth Touch World Cup can only accelerate the game further, both here at home and across the rest of the UK and Europe.”

For more info, head to www.internationaltouch.org.