Football is the most popular sport in the world and there are various age group competitions too, where future stars are born. One such tournament, FIFA Under-17 World Cup, which will start from Friday, October 6, and end on 28th of the same month, will be hosted by India for the first time ever.
India is ready to host such a mega event, and a successful competition could help Indian football, which has always remained in the shadow of cricket, mostly.
The U-17 World Cup has seen a number of present world-class stars like Toni Kroos and Neymar grab attention, and young guns featuring in U-17 World Cup will be eager to match their footsteps in the future. This is a massive launching pad for some of these youngsters, who will be watched by scouts from top clubs around the world.
All the players will have a similar aim, shine for their respective nations, and help win the title at Kolkata's Salt Lake Stadium, which will host the final.
Here are some important and basic things, which one should know about FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Number of Teams: 24
Qualified teams from Africa
- Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Niger
Qualified teams from Asia
- India (as hosts), Iran, Iraq, Japan, Korea DPR Korea,
Qualified teams from Europe
- England, France, Germany, Spain, Turkey
Qualified teams from Central, North America and Caribbean
- Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, USA
Qualified teams from Oceania
- New Caledonia, New Zealand
Qualified teams from South America
- Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay
All the 24 teams have been divided into six groups of 4 teams each.
- GROUP A - India, USA, Colombia, Ghana
- GROUP B - Paraguay, Mali, New Zealand, Turkey
- GROUP C - Iran, Guinea, Germany, Costa Rica
- GROUP D - DPR Korea, Niger, Brazil Spain
- GROUP E - Honduras, Japan, New Caledonia, France
- GROUP F - Iraq, Mexico, Chile, England
After the conclusion of the group stages, 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.
Nigeria, who failed to qualify for this edition, have dominated U-17 World Cup in the last few years. The likes of Brazil, Germany, Spain will be looked upon as favourites this year.
Past winners (last five editions)
2007 winner – Nigeria
2009 – Switzerland
2011 – Mexico
2013 – Nigeria
2015 – Nigeria
Which TV channels will broadcast matches?
India and its subcontinent: Sony Six and Doordarshan
Africa: BeIN Sports. USA: Fox Sports. UK, Spain: Eurosport.
How to follow match scores