A lot to watch out for as India hosts FIFA U-17 World cup
One of the most significant and popular tournament for emerging and flourishing football players – FIFA U-17 is ready to be hosted by India this year. The tournament which boasts of a humongous audience around 200 countries will begin from the 6th of October and the draw ceremony to decide fixtures and groups was held on 7th July at Hotel Sahara Star in Mumbai.
The tournament is seen as a way of hope and is believed to trigger the Indian football scenario. With such a mega event being held in India, people are more likely to develop enthusiasm for football and it would also set a stage for burgeoning players to practise and perform well.
4 teams each have been placed in Group A, Group B, Group C, Group D, Group E and Group F in the qualifying stage for the tournament which is set to last for 3 weeks. India has been drawn with two-time champions Ghana, USA and Colombia in Group A of the qualifying stage. The tournament will be held in Navi Mumbai, Goa, Kochi, Guwahati and Kolkata. The tournament would start with India kicking off their campaign against the USA on 6th October in New Delhi.
Nwankwo Kanu a player from Nigeria who rose to fame through the same tournament held in 1993 revealed the fixtures.
Group Stage Draw
Group A – India, USA, Colombia, Ghana
Group B – Paraguay, Mali, New Zealand, Turkey
Group C – Iran, Guinea, Germany, Costa Rica
Group D – Korea DPR, Niger, Brazil, Spain
Group F – Iraq, Mexico, Chile, England
Fixtures and Schedule
There were many elites present in the draw ceremony. Some of the prominent people present were Sunil Gulati – FIFA Council member, Praful Patel – President of AIFF, Vijay Goel – Indian minister of Youth Affairs and Sports along with FIFA legends Esteban Cambiasso, Nwankwo Kanu and Indian Football star Sunil Chhetri.
The top two teams in each group along with four of the best third-placed teams would qualify for the Quarterfinals. The finals of the tournament would be held on 28th October at Salt Lake stadium, Noida which boasts of a capacity of around 66,000 audience.