the FIFA U17 World Cup

FIFA U17 World: Everything you need to know

It’s the international break and as you’d expect, there’s that routine buzz about the World Cup. So much that many seem to overlook another showpiece around the corner; the FIFA U17 World Cup.
To many, it’s just that biennial tourney in its 17th edition. But to the host nation, India, this represents a rare shot at making a lasting impression on the global stage. Especially when you consider that cricket, not football, has always ruled the roost in the Asian nation. It’s an even bigger platform for the lads to launch their own careers, knowing scouts from top clubs around the world will be on the ground.
With the opening ceremony less than 24 hours away, here’s a lowdown on everything you should know about the event.

When is the U17 World Cup? 

The showpiece will run from October 6th to 20th October 2017.
 
Where will it be held?
India. The Asian nation was handed the hosting rights in December 2013 fending off competition from Azerbaijan, Republic of Ireland and Uzbekistan. This will be the first time the world’s second-most-populous nation will be hosting a FIFA tournament.
 
What about the match venues?
Fifty-two matches will be played across six stadiums in six host cities around the country, namely:
Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata
DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai
Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi
Fatorda Stadium, Margao
Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium , Guwahati
Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi
The final is billed for the 67,000 capacity Salt Lake Stadium.
Who are the qualified countries?
A total of 24 teams qualified for the final tournament. In addition to India, the other 23 teams made it from six separate continental competitions.
Africa: Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Niger
Asia: India (as hosts), Iran, Iraq, Japan, Korea DPR
Europe: England, France, Germany, Spain, Turkey
Central, North America and Caribbean: Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, USA
Oceania: New Caledonia, New Zealand
South America: Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay
 
Any debutant (s)? 
Yes. Three teams are making their first appearance at the event – Niger, New Caledonia as well as hosts India.
Who’re the defending champions?
Nigeria. However, the Golden Eaglets, record five-time champions, failed to make the cut this time.
What’s the competition format?
All 24 teams have been divided into six groups of four each. On completion of the first stage, two nations from each pool and four best third-placed teams will reach the next round of the competition. With 16 teams in the next phase, all the matches are played in the knockout format.
Who are the favourites?
As in other international tourneys, Brazil arrives India with the favourite tag. In the absence of Nigeria, the junior Selecao, with three titles, are the most decorated side. Albeit they would have to battle with Mexico, another side with some sort of dominance at the youth level.
What about the underdogs?
Forget they’re the host, India head into the competition as one of the underdogs. Yes, they may have the support of over one billion fans, but have never been to any major competition of any kind, hence expect them to stutter.
Some random facts 
  • Iran and Japan were the first two teams to qualify while Niger and Mali were the last to do so.
  • Only two sides, Brazil (166) and Nigeria (144) have netted over a century of goals in the competition’s history.
  • The longest winning streak in U-17 World Cup is of seven matches.
  • The most goals scored in a tournament was in the UAE in 2013 (172 goals in 52 matches, with an average of 3.31 goals per match).

 

  • With 18 cards under their belt, Gambia holds the record for the most number of cards earned in the U-17 World Cup.

About the Author Toby

An unrepentant soccer freak other freaks call geek.

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