With only 18 days to go before the commencement of this year’s FIFA U-17 World Cup, 5 of the 24 participating teams have already named their squad for the tournament. This will be India’s first participation at a major FIFA tournament as they will be hosting the competition.
India may be the hosts but hopes aren’t too high for them as they have been grouped with two-time champions Ghana. The United States and Colombia make up the other two teams and both of them have been the tournament’s semi-finalists.
However, if India are eliminated in the first round, they won’t be the first team to have endured this fate as in the 32-year history of this competition, there have been a total of eight hosts who have crashed out of the tournament in the first round. Let’s take a look at the 5 worst performances by any host in the history of the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
#5 Italy- 1991
Italy hosted the first edition of the FIFA U-17 World Cup and were led by then 16-year-old star in the making Alessandro Del Piero and were pooled alongside Argentina, United States, and China.
The Azzurri lost the opening match of the tournament to the United States thanks to an early goal from Mike Dunne. In their second game, the hosts were up against China. The Chinese took the lead but goals from Del Piero and Daniele Giraldi gave the Italians the lead. However, only six minutes after Giraldi’s goal, China equalised and the match ended 2-2 which meant that Italy would have to beat Argentina in their final match to qualify for the knockout stages.
Italy could only manage a draw against Argentina which meant the latter qualified for the quarter-finals at Italy’s expense who ended third in the group with just two points.