The Nation is gearing up to host its first FIFA event, as FIFA U-17 World Cup kicks off tomorrow. India secured the rights of hosting the event in late 2013. Twenty four teams from across the world will participate in the event which will be played for a period of twenty two days. The matches will take place at six different venues across the country.
The venues are, New Delhi, Guwahati, Kolkata, Navi Mumbai, Margao and Kochi. The opening match will be played at DY Patil Stadium Mumbai and the final will be played at, Yuvabharati Krirangan, Kolkata.
The tournament will be played in group stage round robin and knockout format. 24 teams will be divided into 6 groups with top two teams from each group and best four, third place teams qualifying for the round of 16.
Bharat Ratna Sachin Tendulkar is the Brand Ambassador of the tournament while the official mascot is a clouded leopard called Kheleo. The official theme song for the tournament is KARKE DIKHLA DE GOAL.
Fifa U-17 World Cup was first held in 1985 at China. Initially it was called FIFA U-16 World Cup, though later the age for participation was increased to 17, the name officially changed to FIFA U-17 World Cup only in 2007. The tournament takes place in every two years and Nigeria is the most successful team with five titles followed by Brazil which has three titles.
This can be seen as a huge leap for India in sports world as we are yet to make it big at the world’s most popular sport, Football. India might also bid for FIFA U-20 World and FIFA club World Cup if it successfully hosts the U-17 World Cup.