FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017: 10 things to know, Part 3
India is all prepped up to host the 17th edition of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, the country's first-ever FIFA tournament, from October 6th to 28th. The mega-event will lay a strong foundation for Indian football in the years to come and the success of the event would prove to be vital in popularizing the sport in the country.
A total of 24 teams are participating in the tournament, which has been divided into six groups of four teams each. The top two places in each group and the four best third-placed teams will advance to the knockout phase. Three teams will be making their debut in the upcoming edition - Niger, New Caledonia as well as hosts India.
On that note, we bring to you the next article in Sportskeeda’s ‘FIFA U-17 World Cup -10 things to know’ series that reveal 10 more interesting facts about the U-17 World Cup that you probably didn’t know about.
1. A total of 12 players who have played in FIFA U-17 World Cup have also represented their country in a FIFA World Cup final.
2. In the history of the U-17 World Cup, Guinea was the first team to win a penalty shoot-out (beating Australia in the 1985 quarter-finals). 13. From 1985 to 2005, the tournament featured 16 teams divided into four groups of four teams. Since 2007, the tournament was expanded to 24 teams.
3. From 2017, OFC received an extra berth in the FIFA U-17 World Cup (two in all), while UEFA has only five spots instead of six. The rest of the confederations have four qualifying berths each
4. 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.
5. Chouki Ben Saada, Neven Subotic, Victor Moses, Tommy Smith and Hassan Yebda are some of the players who went on to play for a different team from the one they represented in the FIFA U-17 World Cup
6. The matches of FIFA U-17 World Cup follow the basic rules of football, with two halves of 45 minutes each. However, there is no extra time at the end of 90 minutes and all knockout matches directly proceed to a penalty shootout, if needed.
7. Juan Santisteban coached Spain on seven separate occasions but did not finish higher than second (1991 and 2003).
8. In the run-up to the FIFA U-17 World Cup, Asian Football Confederation was the only confederation that hosted a U-16 championship for qualifying, the rest of the competitions were all U-17 qualifiers.
9. Mario Gotze who starred in the 2009 U-17 became the only substitute in World Cup history to score the winning goal in the world cup final.
10. Marco Etcheverry, who represented Bolivia in the 1987 FIFA U-16 Championship, played a pivotal part in Bolivia’s qualification for the 1994 FIFA World Cup. However, in the opening game itself, he was sent off for infamously kicking Lothar Matthaus four minutes after appearing as a substitute. The subsequent suspension meant that Etcheverry played no further part in Bolivia's tournament, as his team finished bottom of Group C.
Keep following the series for more wacky and interesting facts about next month's FIFA U-17 World Cup which will be live and exclusive on SONY TEN 2 and SONY TEN 3.