The largest country in the subcontinent is about to throw open its arms to the footballing fraternity at large come 6 October as India host the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup.24 countries from six confederations will be competing for one of the biggest honours in youth football, with matches being hosted in six cities across the country. Country: India,Confederation: AFC (Asia),Nicknames: Indian Colts, Blue Cubs,Known for: Long balls, quick wing-play Coach: Luís Norton de Matos. In this segment, we take a look at the hosts, the Indian national U-17 football team and guide you through their journey to the world cup, highlighting their strengths, tactics and key players.E ven in the 2016 AFC U-16 meet in Goa, where they qualified on merit apart from being hosts, India ended at the bottom of their group with just one point to show in return for all their efforts.The only piece of silverware India U-16 have won is the 2013 South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) U-16 Championship in Nepal.
The Blues ended as runners-up in both 2011 and 2015 in the South Asian zonal youth competition. FIFA’s Head of Tournaments Jaime Yarza said “Attendance, especially in the venue where the home team plays its matches, is one of the priorities of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, crucial to achieving the purpose of better positioning football in the country, so the government’s commitment in this regard is highly appreciated.”The presence of the Secretary of Sports at the meetings concerning the state of the works in the stadium and training sites sends a positive message and reflects the strong involvement of the authorities. We expect this involvement to extend into the area of pollution prevention, which has been an important topic discussed in relation to the tournament, in particular in Delhi. The draw for the FIFA U-17 World Cup is scheduled to take place on Friday, July 7 at 7 PM IST at Hotel Sahara Star, Mumbai.The tournament, which will feature 24 nations from around the globe including India, is scheduled to kick off on October 6, 2017. Held for the first time in 1985 — back then it was an U-16 tournament — and played every two years, the 2017 edition in India will be the 17th edition of the World Cup. The U-17 World Cup will be held between 6 to 28 October, across six cities — New Delhi, Navi Mumbai, Margao (Goa), Kochi, Kolkata and Guwahati.With 100 days to go for the extravaganza, where the 24 teams will play a total of 52 games.
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