July 12 – Host nation Brazil will open the U-17 World Cup in October against Canada in Gama, a satellite city of the capital Brasilia. Goias and Cariacica will also be tournament host cities.
The draw in Zurich paired Brazil and Canada alongside New Zealand and Angola in a group that the hosts will be very firm favourites to win.
Earlier this week Brazil announced the hosts cities for the event. Originally Peru were to stage the junior World Cup, but FIFA stripped the Peruvians of the hosting rights after they started to overrun on operational timescales. Brazil stepped in as hosts.
The choice of host cities came as a surprise. Gama, a satellite city of Brazil’s capital, has little or no tradition in football. The same applies to Cariacica in Espírito Santo, a state just north of Rio de Janeiro. These three host cities mean the traditional heartlands of the game as well as Brazil’s northeast have been left out of the equation for this tournament. Goias will provide two venues during the 24-team competition.
Gama will host the tournament’s curtain raiser between Brazil and Canada at the Estádio Bezerrão, with a capacity of 20,000. Brasilia was expected to host the final, but that match along with the semi-finals and the third-place playoff will return to the Bezerrão.
Two years ago, England triumphed at the U-17 World Cup in India, defeating Spain in a spectacular final after the team, including Jadon Sancho and Phil Foden, had impressed in earlier rounds. The defending champions however failed to qualify for this year’s finals.
Group A: Angola, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand
Group B: Australia. Ecuador, Hungary, Nigeria
Group C: Chile, France, Haiti, South Korea
Group D: Japan, Senegal, Netherlands, USA
Group E: Argentina, Cameroon, Spain, Tajikistan
Group F: Italy, Mexico, Paraguay, Solomon Islands
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1563367282labto1563367282ofdlr1563367282owedi1563367282sni@o1563367282fni1563367282