After being awarded the hosting rights in 2013, the time is finally here. Yes, the FIFA U-17 World Cup is all set to be staged in India. The moment which every football fan in India ever dreamed of is going to realize tomorrow. This biennial tournament will see 24 teams battling it out from 6th to 28th October.
FIFA event with an Indian touch
Six locations out of eight came up in the selection by FIFA for hosting the matches. Kolkata, Kochi, Goa, Navi Mumbai, Guwahati, and Delhi thereby are the official host cities for the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Additionally, an emblem and a mascot have been incorporated by FIFA for this football extravaganza. Kheleo – the football playing tiger is the official mascot.
According to the press release from FIFA, the emblem is a celebration of the country’s richness and diversity of cultures, with the main elements of 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.
First FIFA U-17 World Cup for India
India is coming to the event by the virtue of being the host country. Therefore, all eyes will be on them as they try to negotiate through Group A. They will be facing the quality oppositions of Ghana, Columbia, and US. Even though it’s a tough draw for the Indian colts, they would be looking forward to play their best and entertain the crowd.
Whatever the result may be, hosting this world-class event is a big deal. Moreover, it will provide a huge impetus to football in India if the tournament turns out to be successful. Not only from the turnout from the crowd but also in terms of cultural exchanges. The exposure brought by this event would be quite helpful for the U-17 team. Additionally, as a host, our country would stand a better chance to host the senior events in the future. With various things at stake, let’s hope that U-17 World Cup propels Indian Football to new heights.