FIFA U-17 World Cup


FIFA U-17 World Cup

Infobox sports league
logo=WU17c.jpg
pixels=200px
caption=The FIFA U-17 World Cup Trophy from the 2007 edition.
sport=Association football
founded=1985
teams=24 (previously 16)
continent=International (FIFA)
champion=fb|NGA

The FIFA U-17 World Cup, originally founded as the FIFA U-16 World Championship, later changed to the FIFA U-17 World Championship and known by its current name since 2007, is the world championship of association football for male players under the age of 17 organized by Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).

The first edition was staged in 1985 and tournaments have been played every two years since then. It began as a competition for players under the age of 16 with the age limit raised to 17 from the 1991 edition onwards. The most recent tournament was hosted by South Korea and was won by Nigeria. It has been announced that future editions will be played in Nigeria in 2009 and in Mexico in 2011.

Brazil and Nigeria are the most successful nations in the tournament's history, with three wins each. Ghana has won the tournament twice.

A corresponding tournament for female players, the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup, will begin in 2008.

Structure

Each tournament consists of a group phase, where four teams play against one another and standings in the group table decide which teams advance, followed by a knockout phase of successive matches where the winning team advances through the competition and the losing team is eliminated. This continues until two teams remain to contest the final, which decides the tournament winner. The losing semi-finalists also contest a match to decide third place.

From 1985 to 2005 there were 16 teams in the competition, divided into four groups of four teams each in the group phase. Each team played the others in its group and the group winner and runner up qualified for the knockout phase. From 2007 the tournament was expanded to 24 teams, divided into six groups of four teams each. The top 2 places in each group plus the four best third-placed teams advanced to the knockout phase.

Competition matches are played in two 40 minute halves (ie 80 minutes in total). In the knockout phase, if the scores are level at the end of 80 minutes an additional 20 minutes of extra time is played. If the scores are still level at the end of extra time, a penalty shoot-out is used to decide the match winner.

Qualification

The host nation of each tournament qualifies automatically. The remaining teams qualify through competitions organised by the six regional confederations. For the first edition of the tournament in 1985, all of the teams from Europe plus Bolivia appeared by invitation of FIFA.

Performances by continental zones

Africa is the most successful continental zone with 5 tournament wins (3 for Nigeria, 2 for Ghana) and 4 times as runner up. Notably the 1993 final was contested by two African teams, the only occasion when the final has been contested by two teams from the same confederation.

South America has 3 tournament wins and has been runner up twice (all Brazil). Additionally Argentina has finished in third place on 3 occasions but has never appeared in the final.

Europe has 2 tournaments wins (1 each for France and USSR) and has been runner up 5 times. Spain has been runner up on 3 occasions.

The CONCACAF zone has 1 tournament win (for Mexico in 2005), the only time that a team from this confederation has reached the final.

Asia has 1 tournament win (for Saudi Arabia in 1989), the only time that a team from this confederation has reached the final. ("Australia was runner up in 1999 but at that time was in the Oceania Football Confederation").

Oceania has no tournament wins and 1 occasion as runner up (for Australia in 1999). Australia has since moved to the Asian confederation.

Awards

At every tournament three awards are presented:
* The Golden Shoe is awarded to the top goalscorer of tournament.
* The Golden Ball is awarded to the most valuable player of the tournament.
* The Fair Play Award is presented to the team with the best disciplinary record in the tournament.

Records and Statistics

The United States has appeared in all 12 editions of the competition (1985-2007) and is the only country to do so, Brazil has appeared 11 times and Australia 10 times.

Brazil and Nigeria have each appeared in the final on 5 occasions and have each won the tournament 3 times.

France's Florent Sinama-Pongolle holds the record for the most goals scored by a player in a single tournament, scoring 9 goals in the 2001 edition.

Spain hold the record for most goals scored by a team in a single tournament with 22 goals in the 1997 tournament.

External links

* [http://www.fifa.com/en/comp/index/0,2442,U172005,00.html?comp=U17&year=2005 FIFA.com]
* [http://www.rsssf.com/tablesw/wyc16hist.html RSSSF archive]


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