FIFA U-17 WC in numbers

A file picture of the Under-17 World Cup.   -  Thulasi Kakkat

*The FIFA Under-17 World Cup is the biennial world championship of association football for male players under the age of 17 organised by the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). 

*The inaugural edition, hosted by China in 1985, was then known as the FIFA Under-16 World Championship.

READ: U-17 World Cup: hoping for buds and blossoms!

* Nigeria was the first champion when it beat West Germany 2-0 at the Workers’ Stadium in Beijing, in front of around 80,000 people.

*In all 16 teams participated in the inaugural edition, where Brazil finished third by defeating Guinea 4-1 in the play-off. 

*The next tournament was held in Canada in 1987. Soviet Union beat Nigeria 4-2 in the final, in a penalty shoot-out after the sides were locked one-all at the end of regulation time.

*The next edition was held in Scotland in 1989, when Saudi Arabia beat the host Scotland 5-4 in the final, in a penalty shoot-out after the sides were locked 2-2 at the end of regulation time.

*In 1991, the tournament, hosted by Italy, was known as the FIFA Under-17 World Championship. Ghana was the winner, after defeating Spain 1-0 in the final.

*The Under-17 World Championship went on until 2005, with Nigeria (in 1993), Ghana (in 1995), Brazil (in 1997, 1999, 2003), France (in 2001) and Mexico (in 2005) claiming the titles.

*From 2007, the tournament was known as the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, with the number of participating teams increasing from 16 to 24.

*Nigeria was the champion in 2007, 2013 and 2015, while Switzerland and Mexico were the winners in 2009 and 2011 respectively.

* India, which is participating in the tournament for the first time, will be hosting the 17th edition of the tournament from October 6 to 28, 2017. The final will be held at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on October 28, 2017.

*India is placed in Group A with United States, Ghana and Colombia.

*Incidentally, India will become the fifth Asian nation to host the tournament after China in 1985, Japan in 1993, South Korea in 2007 and the UAE in 2013.

*Nigeria, the champion in 2015, will not be able to defend its title as it failed to reach the final round of the CAF qualifying tournament. Thus, it became the first incumbent title-holder since Switzerland in 2009 to fail to qualify for the subsequent tournament.

*Nigeria, however, has the distinction of winning maximum number of titles — 5 (in 1985, 1993, 2007, 2013, 2015), followed by Brazil with 3 (in 1997, 1999, 2003). Nigeria, on three other occasions, was runner-up — in 1987, 2001 and 2009.

*The nations which have won the title twice are Ghana in 1991 and 1995 and Mexico in 2005 and 2011. One-time winners are: Soviet Union in 1987, Saudi Arabia in 1989, France in 2001 and Switzerland in 2009.

*Mexico, in 2011, remains the only host nation to win the title, while Scotland in 1989 and Nigeria in 2009, both hosts, finished runners-up.

*The worst finish by a host side: Canada in 1987 and Trinidad and Tobago in 2001. Both sides lost all three games they played.

*Brazil in 1997 & 1999 and Nigeria in 2013 & 2015 are the only nations to successfully defend their titles.

*Brazil and United States are the only two nations to participate on most number of occasions — in 15 editions! They appeared in all the editions except in 1993 and 2013, respectively. The 2017 edition will be the two nations’ 16th appearance in the event!

*Canada has made the most number of appearances — 6 (in 1987, 1989, 1993, 1995, 2011, 2013) without ever progressing from the first round.

*Brazil has the distinction of playing the most number of games — 75, and registering the most number of wins — 47.

*United States has the most number of losses — 28, while Argentina has been involved in the most number of draws — 13.

*Brazil has scored the most number of goals — 159, while United States has conceded the most number of goals — 87.

*Nigeria, in 2013, has the distinction of scoring the most number of goals in a single tournament — 26.

*Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen scored the most number of goals — 15 — in a single tournament, in 2015. 

*The biggest margin of victory is 13-0 when Spain beat New Zealand in 1997 at the Ismailia Stadium in Egypt.

*The 2013 tournament saw the most number of goals scored: 172, while the fewest — 77 — came in the 1989 tournament.