- FIFA U-17 World Cup
Infobox sports league
caption=The FIFA U-17 World Cup Trophy from the 2007 edition.
teams=24 (previously 16)
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 footballfor male players under the age of 17 organized by Fédération Internationale de Football Association ( FIFA).
The first edition was staged in
1985and 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 1991edition onwards. The most recent tournament was hosted by South Koreaand was won by Nigeria. It has been announced that future editions will be played in Nigeriain 2009and in Mexicoin 2011.
A corresponding tournament for female players, the
FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup, will begin in 2008.
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.
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
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 1993final 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 Argentinahas finished in third place on 3 occasions but has never appeared in the final.
Europe has 2 tournaments wins (1 each for
Franceand USSR) and has been runner up 5 times. Spainhas been runner up on 3 occasions.
CONCACAFzone has 1 tournament win (for Mexicoin 2005), the only time that a team from this confederation has reached the final.
Asia has 1 tournament win (for
Saudi Arabiain 1989), the only time that a team from this confederation has reached the final. (" Australiawas 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
Australiain 1999). Australia has since moved to the Asian confederation.
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
Florent Sinama-Pongolleholds 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.
* [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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