Expectations are high, eyes fixed on the glittering trophy, young players are ready to give their professional football career a flying start as the FIFA U-17 World Cup kicks off in India on Friday, October 6.
Twenty four (24) teams from six(6)confederations affiliated to the world football governing body FIFA will converge with the aim of winning the ultimate, during the three (3) week tournament starting from 6th – 28th October in India.
Africa will be without defending champions Nigeria, the most successful country in the history of the tournament with five (5) trophies. However, West African giant, Ghana is back into the tournament for the first time since 2007 when the Black Starlets finished fourth and they will be assisted by edition’s runners up Mali, Guinea and debutants Niger to raise the flag of Africa high.
Mexico with two (2) titles won in 2005 and 2011 will lead the COCACAF representatives to the global soccer fiesta. Noted for their dazzling skills, expect countries like Costa Rica, Honduras and United States to spark the tournament. The ‘Ticos’ of Costa Rica had finished at the quarter finals on five (5) occasions as their best performance in the world cup and are hoping to exorcise the ghost that has haunted them to go beyond the semifinals.
Brazil being one of the best teams in the tournament would be among the four (4) qualified teams from CONMEBOL (South America). Brazil with three (3) trophies won in 1997, 1999 & 2003 will be flanked by Chile Colombia and Paraguay.
A total of 52 matches will be in six (6) different host cities around India with the final taking place at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata. Aside India, Niger will also be making their debut appearance at the world cup.
The inability of Nigeria to qualify for the tournament would mean The Golden Eaglet would be the first team failing to defend the title after Switzerland in 2009.
You can trust Ghana Broadcasting Corporation to serve you with live updates from October 6, 2017 – October 28, 2017 on TV, Radio and Online as the young generation of footballers seek to sweat their way to the glory land.
Story by: Michael Okuley
Twitter : @MikeOkuley