With the preparations for the U17 World Cup underway and FIFA officials in the country to check different venues, the schedule and the slogan for the big event was also unveiled. The biggest announcement, however, is that Kolkata will host the Final. The venue will be the iconic Salt Lake Stadium in a city that has traditionally been known for its football fever.
The final of the 24-team event, the first big FIFA tournament to be held in the country, will be on October 28. The two semifinals will be hosted by Guwahati and Navi Mumbai.
The tournament will start in New Delhi and Navi Mumbai with the first double headers being held on 6 October. The quarter-finals will be in Goa, Guwahati, Kochi and Kolkata, while Guwahati and Navi Mumbai will host the semi-finals. The final of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 will be held in Kolkata’s iconic Salt Lake Stadium.
Speaking at the announcement of the match schedule, Head of FIFA Tournaments, Jaime Yarza said: “The FIFA U-17 World Cup is an exciting milestone for the growth of football in India and it has now reached a very important stage. The match schedule has been created following a thorough analysis of players’ health, competition format, team movements, weather, local festivities, geography and other factors. Each venue will host at least eight matches, and we took existing infrastructure into account, as well as local enthusiasm, when allotting the matches.”
LOC Tournament Director Javier Ceppi added while introducing the official slogan: “This is the first time that India is hosting a FIFA tournament. It will be also the first time an Indian team will play in a FIFA competition. In recognition of the increasing excitement about the beautiful game in India, ‘Football Takes Over’ was the first and most fitting choice as the official slogan for the tournament. Soon we will open ticket sales and fans will have great opportunities to attend matches at discounted rates. We are expecting huge interest from football fans in this historical FIFA U-17 World Cup in India.”
The slogan for the tournament was also revealed at the event in Kolkata, which goes – “Football takes over”. Ceppi went on to explain, “This is the first time that India is hosting a FIFA tournament. It will be also the first time an Indian team will play in a FIFA competition. In recognition of the increasing excitement about the beautiful game in India, ‘Football Takes Over’ was the first and most fitting choice as the Official Slogan for the tournament.”
Apart from India, who have qualified due to their standing as the hosts, the other qualified countries are: Iran, Iraq, Japan and Korea DPR (from AFC), Brazil, Paraguay, Chile and Colombia (CONMEBOL), followed by New Caledonia and New Zealand (from OFC).
Teams representing countries from Europe (UEFA), North and Central America and the Caribbean (CONCACAF) and Africa (CAF) will qualify in the coming months. The draw for the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 will take place on 7 July in Mumbai.
The number of matches to be hosted by each venue:
Salt Lake stadium (Kolkata) – 10
Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru stadium (Goa), Indira Gandhi Athletic stadium (Guwahati) – 9
DY Patil Stadium (Navi Mumbai), Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium (New Delhi) and Jawahar Lal Nehru International Stadium (Kochi) – 8
A total of 11 teams, including India, from Asian Football Confederation (AFC), South America (CONMEBOL) and Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) have qualified. The remaining 13 teams, from Europe (UEFA), North and Central America and the Caribbean (CONCACAF) and Africa (CAF), will be announced later in the coming days. The draws for the World Cup is scheduled for July 7th in Mumbai.