Modi to be requested to inaugurate U-17 WC

Kanu, Sindhu to attend Draw
NEW DELHI, July 5: Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel today announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be requested to inaugurate the U-17 World Cup at the National Stadium in New Delhi. Goel made this announcement during his inspection at the stadium on Wednesday. .
Nehru Stadium is one of the venues for the FIFA U-17 Football World Cup which is scheduled to be held in six venues in October this year. The officials at the venue appraised the Minister about the work in progress for renovation of the stadium for the World Cup.
Meanwhile FIFA and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) on Wednesday announced the participation of former Argentina midfielder Esteban Cambiasso and Nigerian forward Nwankwo Kanu along with Indian captain Sunil Chhetri and Olympic medal winner’s shuttler P.V. Sindhu at the official draw for the FIFA U-17 World Cup. The draw will be held in Mumbai on Friday.
On the other hand FIFA today reopened Phase I ticket sales in Kolkata, Kochi and Guwahati for the championship. The sale will be continued till Friday before the start of the official draw.
Photo caption: Goel inspecting Nehru stadium in Delhi on Wednesday. (Photo:PIB)

Work should be finished by June 15: Goel

Online Staff/ GUWAHATI, May 23: Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel and Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal visited Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium at Sarusajai today and took stock of the preparations for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup. Guwahati is selected as one of the six venues in the country for this prestigious meet.
Goel took stock of the ground condition, dressing room, conference hall, media centre, seating capacity and other sporting arena and expressed satisfaction over the quality of works put in place so far. Later talking to the media person the Union Sports Minister said that apart from the LNIPE complex at Sonapur, the progress of work at the other venues, including practice ground, are quite satisfactory.
He also set June 15 as deadline for completing the last minute preparations for the tournament.
He also added: Sports Ministry is trying its best to change the scenario of sports in the country by organizing the U-17 World Cup. “We have already taken series of steps to give more facilities to the budding talents. Apart from providing quality training facilities we will also introduce annual scholarship of Rs five lakh to the promising players who will be selected by our panels.”
Goel today congratulated Anshu Jamsenpa for climbing the Everest for record fifth times. In a brief reaction Sports Minister said,” It’s a great achievement. She made us proud.”
Meanwhile replying to a query Goel today made it clear that the government won’t allow Pakistani players to compete in any sporting event on Indian soil unless the neighboring country stops "sponsoring terrorism,”
photo courtesy: PIB

FIFA lauds Assam Government’s initiative

Online Staff/GUWAHATI, March 26: FIFA, delegations and Local Organising Committee (LOC) today expressed satisfaction on the progress of work at the Indira Gandhi Athletic stadium here in the city. They visiting officials also felt that Assam government has made a very laudable job which can make the venue as one of the best in the country.
Guwahati is selected as one of the six venues for the forthcoming U-17 World Cup soccer which will be hosted by India in the later part of the year. The preparation of the venue is in the final stage.
Addressing the media after the inspection, FIFA Head of Events Jaime Yarza was happy with the progress of preparation at the venue and said, “The State Government is made wonderful job and their eagerness to be a great venue for the first FIFA tournament in the country is worth lauding.”
He also added: “Nearly after one year I have returned in the city to access the progress of the work and we are satisfied with the progress. There are minor issues to sort out but I believe we are well on schedule for the tournament.”
Tournament Director of the Local Organising Committee, Javier Ceppi, who was the part of the team, also pleased with the progress. “Assam Government has really taken the leadership when it comes to making the World Cup a huge effort in their State. We are already working on all operational and promotional matters to make sure that all the people of Assam and of the neighbouring north-eastern states can enjoy World Cup matches in the north-east”.
Speaking about the venue which includes the stadium as well as training sites, he added, “The development in the stadium is very satisfactory and we are sure that the FIFA U-17 World Cup will do justice to the vision of Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal of making Guwahati the sports capital of India.”
It may be mentioned here that apart from Indira Gandhi Athletic stadium the team also visted different practise venues which included Nehru stadium, SAI Sports complex and LNIPE, Sonapur.
Meanwhile Yarza today suggested local officials to give attention in two areas- proper publicity of the competition and arrangement of sufficient transport facilities for the crowed. “FIFA always wants that crowed should come with their family members to enjoy the game. However this stadium is situated little outskirt and we need good transport system to bring huge number of crowds in the stadium. On the other hand publicity is essential to make an event successful. FIFA has some plans in this regard and it will come on time. However local officials should start it now.”
Also present at the venue were Ajay Tewari –Commissioner, Department of Sports, Government of Assam and Hemendra Nath Brahma, President, Assam Football Association. The delegation will finish their weeklong inspection in Kolkata tomorrow.
Photo caption:Yarza (middle) addressing media at the Indira Gandhi Athletic stadium in Guwahati on Sunday. (Photo: Dasarath Deka)

Guwahati to host 9 games of U-17 World Cup

Online Staff/ GUWAHATI, March 27: Following a week-long inspection tour of the six venues chosen for the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, FIFA and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) have released the official match schedule and unveiled the tournament slogan in Kolkata today. Guwahati, one of the co-host, will organize 9 matches of the tournament.
According to the schedule the tournament will start in New Delhi and Navi Mumbai with the first double headers being held on October 6. 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. Guwahati is also selected as one of the venue for group ‘E’ matches and one pre quarter final tie.
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.”
Tournament hosts India automatically secured their place in the competition. Additional countries from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to have qualified for the FIFA U-17 World Cup are: Iran, Iraq, Japan and Korea DPR. The qualified teams from South America (CONMEBOL) are: Brazil, Paraguay, Chile and Colombia, followed by New Caledonia and New Zealand of the Oceania Football Confederation (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.
Photo caption: FIFA delegates and LOC officials in Kolkata on Monday. (courtesy: AIFF)

Tickets unsold, FIFA keeps hope on NE fans

Online Staff /GUWAHATI, Aug 9: The phase III tickets sale of U-17 World Cup for Guwahati venue showed an unexpected decline. Tournament Director of the Local Organising Committee for FIFA U-17 World Cup Javier Ceppi today informed the news to the media.
The city is now lacking behind Kolkata and Kochi in terms of ticket sales after it exhausted its available inventory of tickets for Phase I and II.
Interacting with media Ceppi today said, “Ticket sales in Guwahati were extremely fantastic in Phase I and Phase II but it is not the same story in the phase III. Many tickets are still remained unsold which is much unexpected. Football is a religion in Guwahati and other parts of the North-East India, and hence, we are not very worried about filling the stadium. The internet penetration in the city is good and we don’t see the online sale of tickets as a concern; however, fans just need a reminder for the best live football they are about to witness.”
In the phase III, tickets for North Level (I) and South Level (I) along with East level (I) at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium are on sale. The price of North and South Level tickets are Rs 150 while the same for the East Level is Rs 300. Tickets for a few matches, including semi final, in East Level although sold out but tickets for North and South are still available for all the matches in Guwahati.
The 23,850 capacity Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium will be the venue of Group E teams -- France, Japan, Honduras, New Caledonia -- and a group F game between Mexico and Chile
Highlighting the possible reason of decline in ticket sale Ceppi said, “It may seem to people that not too attractive teams are here, but let me tell you France has Amine Gouiri who was the top scorer of UEFA U-17 Championship with eight goals, he already plays in Olympique Lyonnais (Lyon) for their senior team. Takefusa Kubo, plays for Japan, was the star of Barcelona youth system and is the youngest scorer in the J-League. We saw him last year in the AFC U-16 Championships, and he is an absolute phenomenon. He is bound to be the best Asian player ever. Such is the quality of the players coming in Guwahati for the games.”
Guwahati indeed has one of the best line up of teams coming to India this October with traditional powerhouses France and Chile grouped with Asian giants Japan and Mexico, who won the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2011 and secured a second placed finish in 2013.
Meanwhile Ceppi today informed the media that the participating teams of the forthcoming U-17 World cup will start to arrive in the country from October 3. “We have planned to welcome the team once Durga puja is over. So all the team will start to reach their destination from October 3”,added Ceppi. .

Guwahati storm into Zonal final

Online Staff/GUWAHATI, Oct 3: Maintaining good form in the competition Guwahati stormed into the Zonal Final of the 69th Senior Inter District Football Championship beating South Kamrup 3-0 at Barama today.
Midfielder Dwijaraj Boro scored the first goal of the game in the 14th minute while striker Manjit Rabha and Midfielder Dhabesh Daimary increased the margin in 62 and 89 minutes respectively.
In the Zonal final Guwahati will take on Baksa on October 5.

U-17 World Cup Soccer, Team profiles: Part II

Santanu Chakraborty
Online Staff.GUWAHATI, Sept 24: U-17 World Cup soccer will kick off on October 6 in India. We will bring profiles of the 24 participating teams here. It’s group 'D','E' and 'F' in part II. TEAM PROFILES
Group ‘D’ (Venue: Kochi)
DPR Korea’s best placing in four previous participations was a top-eight finish in their debut campaign in 2005, when the Koreans were eliminated only after extra time by eventual runners-up Brazil. The North Koreans have drawn five of the 15 U-17 World Cup games they have contested, all by a scoreline of 1-1. Korea DPR failed to win their opening match in all four previous campaigns, losing three times (3-2 to USA in 2005, 3-1 to Mexico in 2011 and 2-0 to Russia in 2015) and drawing 1-1 with England in 2007 after a last-gasp equaliser on 89 minutes.
Niger are one of three teams making their tournament bow this year, together with India and New Caledonia. They are the 20th African side to take part in the U-17 World Cup, making CAF the second-most represented confederation in the competition, behind UEFA which has fielded 22 sides. Together with Mali, Niger were the last side to qualify for the finals, beating Tanzania 1-0 on 21 May in the first round of the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations, where they eventually finished fourth. In the second qualifying round of the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations, Niger sensationally eliminated the reigning world champions Nigeria. After losing the away leg 1-0, the Junior Menas won the return match 3-1 and the decisive goal that knocked out the Nigerians was scored late on in the 90th minute by Abdoul Karim Tinni Sanda.
Brazil have played the most matches (75), accumulated the most victories (47) and scored the most goals (166) in the history of the FIFA U-17 World Cup. Their haul of three titles eclipses the other finalists in India but is two fewer than that of Nigeria, who are absent from this tournament. A Brazilian netted the first goal in U-17 World Cup history. On the opening day of the inaugural edition in 1985, Bismarck found the target after just nine minutes against Qatar. A Canarinha qualified for the U-17 World Cup by winning the South American U-17 Championship for the 12th time in 17 editions, collecting seven wins and two draws in their nine games, with 24 goals scored and three conceded.
Spain have reached the final the most times without winning the title, having finished runners-up three times in 1991, 2003 and 2007 after defeats to Ghana, Brazil and Nigeria respectively. The Iberians hold the record for the biggest winning margin in the tournament’s history, thanks to their 13-0 win over New Zealand in 1997. Two sides have netted over a century of goals in the U-17 World Cup, namely Brazil and Nigeria with 166 and 149 respectively. Spain are on 97 and could reach the 100 mark in India, along with Mexico (97), Germany (92) and Ghana (86).
Group ‘E’ (Venue:Guwahati)
HONDURUS Despite only making their debut in 2007, Honduras are already appearing in their fifth U-17 World Cup, having only missed out on the 2011 edition during that period. Los Catrachos put in their best showing at the 2013 edition, when they were eliminated in the quarter-finals by Sweden. Honduras have won only two of their 14 matches contested in the U-17 World Cup, both in 2013 against Asian teams. The first was a 2-1 win over United Arab Emirates in the group round, followed by a 1-0 victory over Uzbekistan in the Round of 16. Honduras have lost their last four U-17 World Cup matches.
Japan are taking part in their eighth U-17 World Cup, having ventured furthest in 1993 and 2011 when they reached the quarter-finals. The young Samurai Blue qualified for India 2017 by reaching the semi-finals of the AFC U-16 Championship 2016. On the way, they scored 46 goals and conceded none, notching six wins in as many games, including qualifiers, of which the most emphatic was a 17-0 victory over Mongolia. However, Japan’s progress was halted with a 4-2 defeat in the penultimate round by eventual champions Iraq. Japan’s 6-0 victory over New Zealand in the 2011 tournament was the biggest winning margin achieved by an Asian side in the U-17 World Cup.
This is New Caledonia’s debut appearance in the finals of a FIFA competition. Les Cagous are the third OFC representatives to take part in the competition after Australia (who subsequently switched to the AFC confederation in 2006) and New Zealand. It has been exactly 20 years since an Oceanian side debuted in the FIFA U-17 World Cup. That team was New Zealand in 1997. New Caledonia claimed the second Oceanian berth available for India 2017 by reaching the final of this year’s OFC U-17 Championship, before losing 7-0 to New Zealand. This is the first time that two Oceanian sides have qualified for the competition, although the confederation also fielded two representatives at the 1999 edition, when Australia earned their place alongside automatic qualifiers and hosts New Zealand.
France are one of three European teams, and the only one featuring in the 2017 edition, to have won the U-17 World Cup, triumphing in Trinidad and Tobago in 2001. The other former champions from the UEFA confederation are Soviet Union in 1987 and Switzerland in 2009. Les Bleuets have qualified from the group round in all five of their previous U-17 World Cup participations. A goal by Amine Gouiri after 26 minutes decided the qualification play-off for the U-17 World Cup 2017, helping France to a 1-0 victory over Hungary.
Group “F” (Venue:Kolkata)
Iraq are one of six sides that have lost all their matches in the U-17 World Cup, and the only one participating in the 2017 edition. The Iraqis collected no points from three games during their only previous campaign in 2013. In the 2013 edition, Iraq faced the two eventual finalists Nigeria and Mexico in the group round. Iraq arrive in India as the reigning Asian champions after winning the AFC U-16 Championship 2016 for the first time, following a penalty shoot-out win over Iran in the final.
This is England’s fourth participation in the U-17 World Cup and their second in a row. The only edition in which they failed to get beyond the first round was the last one in Chile two years ago, when they collected two draws and a defeat. The U-17 side is one of two English teams to have won a penalty shoot-out in the finals of a FIFA competition, having outsmarted Argentina from the spot in the Round of 16 in 2011. The other side is the U-20 team, who edged Mexico in the quarter-finals in 1993. By contrast, the senior team have been involved in three penalty shootouts and lost every one, all in the FIFA World Cup. England lost on penalties to Spain in the final of the UEFA European Under-17 Championship 2017. Nevertheless, they qualified for the U-17 World Cup 2017 by edging Republic of Ireland 1-0 in the quarter-finals.
This is Chile’s fourth U-17 World Cup outing and their second in a row. The Chileans’ best finish of third place came on their debut in 1993. La Rojita recorded their only clean sheet from 13 games in a 2-0 victory over Tunisia in 1993. Chile qualified for India 2017 by coming second in the South American Under-17 Championship, thereby equalling their best finish in the 1993 edition of the continental event
Mexico are two-time champions (in 2005 and 2011) and this is their 13th U-17 World Cup campaign, taking them equal-third with Argentina in terms of the number of participations, behind Brazil and USA who will each be making their 16th appearance. Mexico jointly hold the record for the most consecutive wins in the U-17 World Cup, totalling seven (all obtained during the 2011 edition). El Tri share the record with Brazil, Nigeria and Switzerland,

U-17 FIFA World Cup mascot unveil

NEW DELHI, Feb 10: With 238 days to go until the start of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, the Official Mascot of the tournament was revealed today at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
In a ceremony attended by India’s Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Vijay Goel, and the chairman of the Local Organising Committee, Praful Patel, the young and charismatic face of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, a clouded leopard called Kheleo, was introduced to hundreds of fans and media representatives.
The clouded leopard is a vulnerable wild cat whose habitat extends from the Himalayan foothills to mainland Southeast Asia.
To commemorate Kheleo’s first public appearance, Goel said to the gathering: “We are sure that he will be one of the most memorable mascots a sporting event in India has ever seen. Kheleo is young, vibrant, enthusiastic and a perfect representation of our country. It will help us to involve kids with football in a fun way.”
Citing the Official Mascot as a major component of the overall event brand that will represent the tournament and the host country, Patel added: “Presenting Kheleo as the Official Mascot to the world is another big step for our event. As the face of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, it will be going across the country to promote the tournament and to inspire kids and adults alike.”
First FIFA tournament will be hosted by India from 6 to 28 October 2017. (source:AIFF)

U-17WC: Sonowal unveils logo for Host City

GUWAHATI, Aug 26: The Host City Logo of Guwahati for U-17 World Cup was released by the Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal in a function which was held at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium here today. In the same function he also unveiled the champion trophy of U-17 World Cup which will be displayed in the city for two days.
The Host City Logo of Guwahati is created by a city based student Nibir Das. It blends the components and sentiments relevant to the people from the region and complements the current FIFA U-17 World Cup Official Emblem.
Speaking on the milestone occasion at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Sonowal said, “Global event would catapult the state and region into world’s sporting limelight and make people from across the globe aware about Assam’s sporting potential.”
Saying that football has always been very popular in the state and region and many footballers of the state have brought laurels to the country, Sonowal said the young players of Assam and Northeast would be inspired by watching the future global football stars in action and learn from the high standard of football that would be on display.
The Official Trophy will be present at Judge’s Field for a Mission XI Million festival in the morning tomorrow. It will later open for public viewing from 11 am onwards.
Talking about the Guwahati Host City Logo, Tournament Director of LOC, FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, Javier Ceppi, who also attended the function, said, “We are very happy with the design of the Guwahati Host City Logo where entire Assam is showcased nicely. The State Government has been very supportive of the World Cup from the beginning and once again, they have reiterated that through the Host City Logo, they will further promote the Tournament in Assam and the rest of the north-east".
Taking a question from media on ticket sale Seppi said: “Ticket seekers response for Guwahati venue once again goes high. I was checking the number of unsold tickets of Guwahati venue this morning and found that only around 200 tickets for the semi final tie are left unsold. So we are expecting full house during the competition where Guwahati will host nine matches.
Also present for the momentous event were Naba Kumar Doley, Sports Minister of Assam; Ashutosh Agnihotri, Commissioner and Sec, Sports Department, Government of Assam, Queen Oja, Vice Chairman of Sports Authority of Assam, HN Brahma, President of Assam Football Association, Anand Prakash Tiwary, Nodal officer of Guwahati venue, and Lakhya Konwar, the member secretary of the State Level Advisory committee for Student and Youth Welfare along with two former soccer star Debashish Roy and Gilbertson Sangma.
Name: FIFA U-17 World Cup
Height: 49.5 cm
Weight: 4.6 kgs
Designed by: Thomas Fattorini and Jane Powell
Date and Design of manufacture: 2004
Manufactured by: Thomas Fattorini Ltd, Birmingham,UK.
Photo caption: Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal releasing the Host City Logo at Indira Gandhi Stadium on Saturday. (Photo:FIFA)

U-17 World Cup Soccer, Team profiles: Part I

Santanu Chakraborty
Online Staff.GUWAHATI, Sept 21: U-17 World Cup soccer will kick off on October 6 in India. We will bring profiles of the 24 participating teams here. It’s group ‘A’ 'B' and 'C' on part I.
Group ‘A’(Venue:Delhi)
India return to the finals of a FIFA competition after 57 years. The South Asians participated in four consecutive editions of the Olympic Football Tournament between 1948 and 1960. India are the 18th Asian team to take part in the U-17 World Cup. The last AFC representatives to make their tournament bow were Iraq in 2013.
USA are contesting their 16th U-17 World Cup and share the record for the most participations with Brazil. The Americans only missed out on the 2013 campaign, following 14 consecutive appearances, and their best finish of fourth place came in 1999. The Stars and Stripes have racked up more defeats (28) and conceded more goals (96) than any other side in the tournament’s history. Between 1999 and 2007 they failed to keep a clean sheet in 16 consecutive U-17 World Cup games. The 1000th goal in the history of the U-17 World Cup was struck on 20 September 2005 by an American, Ryan Soroka, who was the last scorer in his side’s 3-1 group-round victory against Italy.
Colombia return to the finals of the U-17 World Cup eight years after their last appearance in 2009, when their fourth-placed finish equalled their previous best showing at the 2003 edition. Only Spain, who thrashed New Zealand 13-0 in 1997, have scored more goals in a single U-17 World Cup fixture than Colombia, who trounced Finland 9-1 in 2003. Colombian Carlos Hidalgo is one of a quartet of players who have scored four goals in an U-17 World Cup match, having struck four times in the 9-1 win over Finland in 2003. The other three quadruples were bagged by Spain’s David in 1997 against New Zealand, Côte d’Ivoire’s Souleymane Coulibaly in 2011 against Denmark and Nigerian Kelechi Iheanacho in 2013 against Mexico.
Ghana return to the finals ten years after finishing fourth in Korea Republic 2017, which is the longest break between appearances among the 24 sides competing in India. The Black Starlets have scored in their last 21 matches, a record series also achieved by Germany between 2007 and 2015. The Ghanaians will edge ahead if they find the target in their opening match in India. The West Africans are the only side to have contested four consecutive finals in the U-17 World Cup, having reached the deciding match between 1991 and 1997 and won two titles in 1991 and 1995.
Group ‘B’(Venue: Navi Mumbai)
Paraguay are making their fourth outing in the U-17 World Cup and achieved their best result on their debut in 1999, when they were eliminated in the quarter-finals by the eventual champions Brazil. Los Guaranies have scored an average of 4.2 goals in the ten U-17 World Cup matches they have contested, netting two goals in only one game and at least three in the other nine. In the South American Under-17 Championship, Paraguay booked their ticket to India one day before the end of the competition by overcoming Venezuela 3-1 to ensure they finished third. That was followed on the final match-day by an inconsequential loss to Colombia, after four wins and four draws between the first stage and the final group round.
The reigning vice-champions lost the final of the U-17 World Cup 2015 to Nigeria. Mali have reached the knockout stage in all but one of their four previous participations, exiting at the group stage in 1999 with no goals scored and just one conceded. Among the sides that have played at least ten matches in the U-17 World Cup, Mali have conceded the lowest average number of goals per match, with 0.61 based on a total of 11 goals shipped in 18 fixtures. Les Aiglonnets kept clean sheets in ten of their games. Mali are the reigning African champions, having won the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations after beating fellow finalists Ghana to successfully defend the title they claimed in 2015.
The New Zealanders are taking part in their eighth U-17 World Cup and the sixth in a row. Two years ago they reached the Round of 16, thus equalling the best ever finishes achieved in 2009 and 2011. The U-17 team’s 2-1 win over Poland in 1999 was the first positive result achieved by a New Zealand side in the finals of a FIFA competition, in both men’s and women’s football. In February, the Junior All Whites won their seventh continental title in this age group and the sixth on the trot. In the last six editions of the OFC U-17 Championship, which also doubles as the qualifying tournament for the U-17 World Cup, New Zealand dominated with 27 wins and one draw from 28 matches played, scoring 116 goals (an average of 4.14 per game) and conceding 15 (0.53 per game on average).
Turkey return to the U-17 World Cup eight years after their last participation. They were fairly successful in both of their previous campaigns, finishing fourth in 2005 and reaching the quarter-finals in 2009. The Turks are undefeated in the competition’s group round, with five wins and one draw recorded to date. An own goal by Hungary’s Andras Csonka in the quarter-finals of the UEFA European U-17 Championship guaranteed Turkey’s qualification for the global showpiece in India, before a semi-final defeat by England ended their continental title bid.
Group ‘C’ (Venue: Goa)
Iran went beyond the group round twice in their three previous participations, in 2009 and 2013. On both occasions, the Iranians were subsequently eliminated in the Round of 16: 2-1 by Uruguay after extra time in 2009 and 4-1 by eventual champions Nigeria in 2013. Apart from India, who qualified automatically as the host team, Iran were the first side to book their finals berth, winning 5-0 in the quarter-finals of the AFC U-16 Championship on September 25, 2016. Japan followed them into the finals only a few hours later on the same day. An Iranian was the scorer of one of six goals netted inside the first minute of play in the U-17 World Cup. The player in question was Mostafa Hashemi, who struck after 55 seconds against Argentina in 2013. Only four players have bagged earlier goals.
Guinea are one of six sides in India that participated in the inaugural edition in 1985 in China, the others being Brazil, Germany, Mexico, USA and Costa Rica. Guinea eventually placed fourth, their best showing in their four previous campaigns. In the history of the U-17 World Cup, Guinea were the first team to win a penalty shoot-out (beating Australia in the 1985 quarter-finals) and the first African side to win a game (1-0 against USA on 31 July 1985). Le Syli Cadet qualified for the U-17 World Cup by coming third in the CAF U-17 Africa Cup of Nations 2017, thus equaling their most successful continental championship campaigns in 1995 and 2015.
Germany are contesting their tenth U-17 World Cup and have racked up more participations and matches (44) than any other European side. They have reached the semi-finals four times, which is another European record, finishing runners-up once (1985), third on two occasions (2007 and 2011) and fourth in 1997. Four members of Germany’s 2014 World-Cup winning squad previously participated in an U-17 World Cup, namely Roman Weidenfeller (1997), Toni Kroos (2007), Mario Gotze and Shkodran Mustafi (2009). The Germans have not drawn for 14 matches in the U-17 World Cup, notching nine wins and five defeats since tying 3-3 with Colombia in 2009.
Costa Rica become the eighth team to contest ten editions of the U-17 World Cup. Los Ticos’ best achievement was reaching the quarter-finals, a feat which they have accomplished no fewer than four times, including three in a row between 2001 and 2005, plus once more.

FIFA U-17 World Cup Emblem launched

PANJIM, Sept 27:The Local Organising Committee of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 (LOC) unveiled the official emblem today. The ceremony at Goa’s Marriott Hotel was attended by Gianni Infantino, President of FIFA, and Praful Patel, Chairman of the LOC and of the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
“It is clear for all to see how football has already been making huge strides in India”, said FIFA President Gianni Infantino. “But there is still an enormous room for growth, and the FIFA U-17 World Cup can be an ideal catalyst to develop the sport even further and across the whole country. This is an exceptional opportunity to converge two of FIFA’s core missions: to organise tournaments and to promote football development.” Fittingly launched during the AFC U-16 Championships, which are the first set of qualifiers for next year’s tournament, the emblem of the first ever FIFA Tournament in India was designed as a celebration of the country’s rich and diverse culture, with its main elements being the Indian Ocean, the banyan tree, the kite and the starburst, which is an interpretation of the Ashoka Chakra, an integral part of the national identity.
Each of the aforementioned has been selected for its deep significance in the culture of the country. The Indian Ocean that serves as a base of the Emblem is an integral part of the Subcontinent. The banyan tree is the national tree of India, deeply rooted in the culture and ethos of the country and under which rural communities traditionally gather to take all major decisions in its shade. The kite is the symbol of freedom and fun. Popular across the country, it represents the soaring aspirations of India´s young and vibrant democracy. Finally, the starburst that sits on the top of the Emblem brings the feeling of festivity and celebration, representing all the festivals that grace this multicultural country and making a statement that the FIFA U-17 World Cup will be the new festival in all the calendars.
Shaped like the World Cup trophy, the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 emblem combines the global look of the beautiful game with a quintessentially Indian feel. It represents what the tournament stands for. Talking about the launch, Patel said, “This is a historic occasion for India and the AIFF. Hosting our first FIFA World Cup will change forever the way football is seen in our country.”
Tournament Director of the LOC, Javier Ceppi added, “This is a very important landmark for our Event, as now we have a very distinct image. With the Emblem Launch we will go out to the masses and make sure that the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 is seen across the nation as another festival in our calendar of celebrations, the festival of football. We really have to make this fantastic opportunity count.”
The FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 will happen in six venues across the country during the month of October 2017.(Courtesy: AIFF)
Photo caption: Emblem of U-17 World Cup.

U-17 WC: Teams are satisfied with IG Stadium

GUWAHATI, July 9: The officials of the four participating teams of Group ‘E’ in the forthcoming U-17 World Cup visited Guwahati today and had a look at the grounds along with the other facilities which will be provided to their teams during the competition.The visitors looked satisfied with the preparation.
As per the schedule of the tournament Guwahati will host the matches of group ‘E’ from October 8. The four teams in this group are Japan, France, New Caledonia and Hondurus.
All the members of the participating teams, including coach and manager, were greeted today by the officials of the State Sports Department after their arrival at the Indira Gandhi stadium. Secretary (Sports) Sanjiv Gohain Baruah, Director (Sports and youth Welfare) Pabitram Khound, Newly appointed Nodal officer of FIFA World Cup (Guwahati) Anand Prakash Tiwary and Member Secretary of SLAC Lakhya Konwar were present at the time of inspection.
During their stay at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium the team members today inspected main ground along with the dressing rooms and practice ground. It was learnt that there was no major complain from the team members on the different facilities at the stadium.
Sharing information on this visit Nodal officer Tiwary today said, “Tourists are happy with the facilities which we are going to provide them during the tournament and I am very hopeful that Guwahati will be able to host the event nicely.”
He also added: “The preparation of the tournament is going on smoothly and everything will be in perfect shape well before the start of the tournament.”
Director , Sports and youth Welfare, Pabitram Khound too optimistic about the success of the tournament in Guwahati. “There was no major complains from the visiting side regarding the infrastructure and the other facilities. So I can say that we are on the right track,” said khound.
The tourists later visited the other practice grounds and two hotels where the teams will stay at the time of competition.
Photo caption: Nodal officer Anand PrakashTiwary is greeting a team official at the Indita Gandhi Stdium on Sunday. (Photo: Dasarath Deka)

U-17 WC trophy to tour Guwahati in August

GUWAHATI, July 3: The U-17 World Cup trophy will visit Guwahati and will be in display for the soccer lovers nearly a week from August 31. The information was shared by the key officials of the local organizing committee of the meet during the first steering committee meeting of FIFA U-17 World Cup which was held in Guwahati today.
India will host the next edition of U-17 World Cup in October and Guwahati will be one of the venue of this prestigious meet.
Today’s meeting was held under the chairmanship of Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and it took stock of the last minute preparations. The meeting also deliberated on the role and responsibilities of the different departments in holding the FIFA U-17 World Cup. The meeting reviewed the up gradation process of the different facilities like street lighting from Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport to Sarusajai Stasdium, garbage disposal, beautification works along with security arrangement and other amenities.
Tournament Director Xavier Xeppi and Venue Director Romma Khanna, both were present in the meeting, expressed their satisfactions over the arrangements made so far for the conduct of the games.
U-17 World Cup will be held in October and Guwahati will host nine matches including quarter and semi finals.
Finance Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs and Sports Naba Kumar Doley, Chief Secretary VK Pipersenia, Director General of Police Mukesh Sahay and a host of other senior officers of civil and police administration including officials of Sports Authority of India were present in the meeting. Later Chief Minister Sonowal also reviewed the preparations of the AIBA Women’s Youth World Boxing Championship in a separate meeting. Guwahati will host the meet from November 19.

Goel to inspect IG Stadium on Tuesday

Online Staff/GUWAHATI, May 22: The Union Sports Minister Bijay Goel will visit Guwahati tomorrow and will inspect the preparation of the forthcoming World Cup.
After landing in the city the Minister will first go to Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium which will be the venue of the tournament. He will likely to visit the training grounds also.
Meanwhile the tickets of Rs 960 (East Level I Category 2) at the Indira Gandhi Athletic stadium are already sold out. It may be mentioned here that venue package tickets for Guwahati were kept at reasonable prices of Rs 480 and Rs 960 for the 9 matches. The tickets of other category - North Level 1 and South Level 1(both are category 3), priced Rs 480 are still available.
Indira Gandhi Athletic stadium will be the home of group ‘E’ teams. The stadium will host 6 group stage matches along with one pre quarter final, one quarter final and one semi final. At the group stage there will be two matches on each day and will kick off at 5 PM and 8PM respectively. The kick off time of all three remaining matches is 5PM. Guwahati will host first game on October 8. The semi final is slated for October 25.

U-17 WC: Women officials also in referees panel

Online Staff/GUWAHATI, Aug 18: With only two months to go before the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 kicks off, the FIFA Referees Committee has appointed 21 trios of match officials, representing all six confederations.
In a release FIFA said, it is essential to ensure that the best match officials from all around the world are selected for FIFA competitions. For some of the selected match officials, India 2017 will be another important step in their preparations for FIFA’s flagship competition, the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
FIFA has also selected seven support referees, but with a twist: for the first-ever time, FIFA has selected female referees for a men’s tournament. The results and improvements seen in the joint preparations have shown that the time has come for elite female referees to officiate in men’s competitions together with their male colleagues.
“We think it’s time for elite female referees to be involved in a FIFA men’s competition. They worked together with male match officials last year and now we want to see them working together in a competition,” said FIFA Head of Refereeing Massimo Busacca.
The FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 will take place in Goa, Guwahati, Kochi, Kolkata, Navi Mumbai and New Delhi between October 6 and 28. The final will be played at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan Stadium in Kolkata on October 28.
List of appointed match officials for U-17WC
Match schedule of U-17 World cup

Mali and Niger seal 24 nations line-up

Online Staff/GUWAHATI, May 23: After the CAF qualifiers, the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 now has all 24 teams for the tournament in place. Victories in their final group matches ensured Mali and Niger progressed to the tournament joining Ghana and Guinea, who had already sealed their qualification.
The 2016 AFC U-16 Championship held last year ensured Iraq, Iran, Japan and North Korea qualified for the tournament from Asia. Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico and the United States of America recently qualified from the CONCACAF (Central, North American and Caribbean) region.
England, France, Germany, Spain and Turkey recently sealed their places for the FIFA event after finishing as the best 5 teams from the 2017 UEFA European Championship.
Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Paraguay are the final CONMEBOL nations that will participate from South America while New Caledonia and New Zealand have qualified from the OFC (Oceania) region. Hosts India qualified for the tournament directly.
Welcoming the 24 countries, Tournament Director of the Local Organising Committee Javier Ceppi said, “It is very exciting to know the 24 teams that will be playing the World Cup. The line-up is superb, with established powerhouses in the category (such as former World Champions Brazil, Ghana and Mexico) and teams making their debut, among them the hosts India. Having seen the teams and knowing of their quality, football fans are in for a real treat in October and it is key that they can start getting their tickets now and book their place in history before is too late”.
With the 24 teams in place, the attention now turns to the Official Draw, which will take place on July 7 and determine the fixtures for each team.
Below is a list of all the team qualified for the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017:
Africa: Mali, Niger, Ghana and Guinea
Europe: England, France, Germany, Spain and Turkey
Asia: India (hosts), Iraq, Iran, Japan and North Korea
Central, North America and Caribbean Region: Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico and the United States of America
South America: Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Paraguay
Oceania: New Caledonia and New Zealand

U-17 WC: Manipur boy Amarjit to Lead India

PANAJI, Sept 19: Amarjit Singh will lead India in the forthcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup which is scheduled to be held in the six-venue of the country from October 6.
Amarjit, who hails from Manipur and plays in the mid field, has been unanimously elected as the captain of the team by his teammates. Head coach Luis Norton de Matos had suggested to the 27 probables, who are now in the final preparatory camp here, to write four names according to their choice and put the paper into the ballot box. The player who will get maximum votes will lead India in this prestigious tournament. However before the vote Matos also mentioned it clearly that there would not be any goalkeeper among the four names as he felt captain should be one in the centre of the field.
All the players unanimously voted for Amarjit as their captain. Jitendra Singh, who received second highest votes, will be the vice captain of the team.
India is placed in group ‘A’ along with USA, Colombia and Ghana. Host team will play their group matches in Delhi and will start their campaign on October 6 against USA. Their remaining two group games will be on October 9 vs Colombia and October 12 vs Ghana.

France, Japan among the teams in Guwahati group

Santanu Chakraborty
GUWAHATI, July 7: Host India will face USA, Colombia and Ghana in their three group stage games of the U-17 Soccer World Cup which will kick-off on October 6 in New Delhi. India will face USA on the opening day of the contest at the same venue.
The Official Draw for the FIFA U-17 World Cup, which will be played in six venues across India between 6 and 28 October 2017, took place on Friday in Mumbai. It was the historic moment for India as for the first time they will appear in any format of the FIFA world Cup. The draw ceremony was held in the presence of Sunil Gulati, FIFA Council member, Praful Patel, President of the All India Football Federation and Vijay Goel, Indian Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports. Assisting in the draw ceremony were FIFA Legends Esteban Cambiasso and Nwankwo Kanu, as well as Indian national team legend Sunil Chhetri and Indian badminton star Pusarla Venkata Sindhu.
One of the highlights of the ceremony was the performance of the tournament's Official Song. Pritam and Babul Supriyo revealed 'Kar Ke Dikhla De Goal' for the first time, much to the delight of the assembled audience.
Meanwhile Guwahati, which is one of the key venue of the competition, will host the game of Group E. Four teams in this group are Honduras, Japan, New Caledonia and France. France will face New Caledonia on the opening tie on October 8. In another game on the same day Hondurus will meet Japan. The first match will kick off at the Indira Gandhi Stadium on 5PM and the second one at 8PM.
As per the rule of the tournament the last group match of Guwahati, which is scheduled on October 14 between New Caledonia and Japan, will be shifted to Kolkata. On the other hand last group match of Kolkata between Chile and Mexico, on the same date, will be shifted to Guwahati .
Moments after India were drawn in the Group A of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Head Coach Luis Norton de Matos said, “ India are ready to make an impression in the FIFA U-17 World Cup.”
“In Football, the word impossible does not exist and we are going to fight in every game, in every moment to give it our best on the pitch,” he said.
“The boys are not afraid of any team and that is a very positive notion. If we have 20 percent chance of winning a game, we will ensure that we make it a cent percent,” Matos added.
India will clash against USA in their opening match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India on October 6 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi, before taking on Colombia on October 9 and Ghana on October 12 respectively.
Reflecting on India’s opponents in the FIFA U-17 World Cup Matos said, ‘Colombia are one of the best South American teams and they will be very tough and very strong on the pitch. So will be USA and Ghana.”
Meanwhile Phase II' Tickets of the forthcoming competition are now on sale. The phase will exclusively be available for Visa cardholders between July 7- 21. The tickets for Guwahati venue for the second phase of sale are Rs 100 and Rs 200. All the price of tickets, which will be sold in this phase, are available for single day only. As per the website of FIFA the tickets, pricing Rs 200(for semi final game), are already sold out for Guwahati venue after few hours of opening.
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 E: Honduras, Japan, New Caledonia, France
Group F: Iraq, Mexico, Chile, England
October 8: France vs New Caledonia (5PM) and Japan vs Hondurus (8PM)
October 11: France vs Japan (5PM) and New Caledonia vs Hondurus (8PM)
October 14: France vs Hondurus (5PM) and Mexico vs Chile (8PM)

TRIVIA and QUOTES: U-17 World Cup Soccer

Sumon Choudhury
GUWAHATI:India will host the first FIFA World Cup from October 6. Here is a few interesting facts of U-17 World Cup and quotes on forthcoming competition. The information would be updated on regular basis till the competition begins.
1 It will be the 17th editions of the U-17 World Cup.
2. The competition was first held in 1985 in China and has since been held by all six confederations: Africa (twice, in Egypt and Nigeria), Asia (four times, in Korea Republic, China PR, Japan and the United Arab Emirates), Oceania (once, in New Zealand), North, Central America and the Caribbean (three times, in Canada, Trinidad & Tobago and Mexico), South America (three times, in Ecuador, Peru and Chile), and Europe (three times, in Scotland, Italy and Finland).
3.From 1985 to 1993, matches were played over two 40-minute halves (extra time was ten minutes each way). In Ecuador in 1995, the standard duration of matches was increased to the traditional format of 45 minutes per half. There is no extra time in the competition.
4. Excluding the first edition of the tournament in 1985, the highest number of debutants was seven in 1987, 1989 and 2007.
5. India, New Caledonia and Niger will be the three debutants at this edition.
6. As for the number of times that teams have taken part, the USA and Brazil (15 apiece) are practically evergreens, ahead of Argentina (13).
7. Nigeria have reached eight finals (1985, 1987, 1993, 2001, 2007, 2009, 2013 and 2015) and won record five, in 1985, 1993, 2007, 2013 and 2015.
8: The last 16 editions of the meet produced 1854 goals from 612 matches.
9: The most goals scored in a single tournament was in the UAE in 2013 (172 goals in 52 matches, with an average of 3.31 goals per match).
10: Brazil have scored a total of 166 goals in the FIFA U-17 World Cup. In second and third place are Nigeria with 149 goals and Mexico-Spain with 97 goals.
11.BISMARCK of Brazil scored the first goal of U-17 World cup in 1985. The last goal, which was 1859 in the competition, was against the name of BAMGBOYE (Nigeria).
12. The highest scoring match of the competition was between New Zealand and Spain in Egypt (1997). Spain won the game 13-0.
13. Brazil and USA jointly hold the record of participating m0st number of times. Both the teams participated 15th occasion in the competition.
14.Nigeria played record 16 consecutive matches without facing a single defeat.
15. Nigeria (16) holds the record to score most number of goals in a single competition.
16> Juan Santisteban coached Spain on seven different occasions, but did not finish higher than second (1991 and 2003)
17. Nigeria have won an impressive 73% of their FIFA U-17 World Cup games.
18.In 1987, 1989, 1999 and 2007, the final was decided on penalties and on each occasion, a team from a different confederation came out on top. All other finals were decided in regular time.

1. FIFA U-17 Worlc Cup can secure India’s future as a footballing Nation—PK Banerjee (Former International Footballer).
2.We will play as a unit and as a collective force. We will fight strongly as a unit, he declared. Commenting on the opponent-Luis Norton de Matos (Head Coach of India)

India announces squad for U-17 World Cup

GOA, Sept 21: History beckons for Indian football as twenty one players have been selected for the first ever Indian squad to participate in the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017.
India have been drawn in Group A alongside USA, Colombia and Ghana, and will face USA in the opening game on October 6, followed by Colombia and Ghana on October 9 and October 12 respectively at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi.
“We believe that we are prepared for the FIFA U-17 World Cup”, said Head Coach of the India U-17s Luis Norton de Matos. “We have worked hard and made progress, but at the same time we go directly to a high level competition against some of the best teams in the world”
He also added:“We will fight to win each match even if there is only five percent chance of winning. We will not give up and nothing is impossible in football”
GOALKEEPERS: Dheeraj Singh, Prabhsukhan Gill, Sunny Dhaliwal.
DEFENDERS: Boris Singh, Jitendra Singh, Anwar Ali, Sanjeev Stalin, Hendry Antonay, Namit Deshpande.
MIDFIELDERS: Suresh Singh, Ninthoinganba Meetei, Amarjit Singh Kiyam (Captain), Abhijit Sarkar, Komal Thatal, Lalengmawia, Jeakson Singh, Nongdamba Naorem, Rahul Kannoly Praveen, Md. Shahjahan.
FORWARDS: Rahim Ali, Aniket Jadhav.
For complete List Click Here