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FIFA Under 17 World championship 2005 Peru ? Preview

August 21st, 2005 by · No Comments · Football

Last month the host nation, Peru, staged an elaborate ceremony in Lima to decide how the 16 qualifiers would line up in the four groups for the first round of the competition. The draw ceremony, attended by 400 guests, was hosted by the Peruvian Terry Wogan, G?ido Lombardi, assisted by the model and former Miss Peru Viviana Rivas. Alejandro Toledo, the President of Peru, thanked the tournament's organisers and FIFA for giving the country the privilege of hosting the competition and Jack Warner, the Vice-President of FIFA and Chairman of the tournament's Organising Committee, introduced a potted history of the competition.

First staged in 1985, the event was hosted by China and won by Nigeria. It has taken place in all odd-numbered years since then with the most successful team to date being, no surprise, Brazil with 3 wins. One of the recurring themes of this competition, and to some extent its little brother, the FIFA Youth World Championship, has been the success of African countries. Both Nigeria and Ghana have won the tournament twice, that?s 40% maths fans, and, with the exception of 1999 and 2003, every final has featured an African team. In addition to this success the 3rd place play-off game has included lesser known African teams such as Cote d?Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Guinea.

Probably the biggest fun to be had with the junior ?World Cups? is predicting which players are going to make the leap to the senior squads in the future. With clubs targeting younger and younger players these tournaments swarm with scouts and agents in the knowledge that previous tournaments have seen the emergence of world stars to-be such as Ronaldinho, Luis Figo, Pablo Aimar, Alessandro Del Piero, Juan Veron, Manu Petit and Harry Kewell [?].

The real action starts on 16th September in Lima but much fun was had during the draw after each selection for the home side was met with groans. Peru were drawn in group A with Ghana, one of the favourites, as their opening game opponents, China, the current Asian champions and finally a fast improving Costa Rica. In a demonstration of how football can provide delightfully warped reflections of the real world the clean cut, god fearing youth of the USA, Team America if you like, will play ?Axis of Evil? representatives North Korea in Group C.

The USA, who have qualified for every finals but have never got further than 4th place, should overcome North Korea, described by FIFA as ?group underdogs? which brings to mind a picnic, but Cote d'Ivoire and Italy will present a sterner test. FIFA trots out a encyclopaedia of clich?s when describing Group D, where Brazil will need to ?pull out all the stops? against the ?mighty? Dutch, the ?unpredictable? Qataris and the ?strong-running? Gambians, who are, apparently ?a tough side very much in the African mould?.

Nothing like some racial stereotypes to kick-off a tournament supposed to provide young players with ?valuable lessons that will stay with them throughout their careers?.

The Draw

Group A

Peru

Ghana

China PR

Costa Rica

Group B

Uruguay

Mexico

Turkey

Australia

Group C

Cote d'Ivoire

Italy

North Korea

USA

Group D

Netherlands

Qatar

Brazil

Gambia

Event Calendar


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