Hosts India were placed in Group A along with United States, Morocco and Brazil as the official draw for the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup India 2022 was released on Friday in Bhubaneswar.
Keeping their record of participating in every FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup intact, Germany was drawn into Group B with Nigeria, Chile and hosts of the inaugural edition of the tournament, New Zealand.
Meanwhile, defending champion Spain were drawn in Group C along with Colombia, Mexico and China PR. Former champion – of the Costa Rica 2014 edition – Japan is placed alongside in Group D alongside Tanzania, Canada and another former champion in France.
“Today’s draw not only marks an important milestone for India as a host nation but also for the global football community. That this draw and the subsequently tournament is able to take place safely is a testament to the hard work of those involved,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said during the draw.
“We now look forward to watching the finest young players representing 16 nations from around the world in India later this year. As a direct result of this tournament, a new generation of women inspired to follow in the footsteps of those they see playing in October will be created,” he concluded.
Speaking about ticking off an important milestone enroute to what promises to be a seminal moment for women’s football in India, Shri Anurag Thakur, Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting and Youth Affairs & Sports, Government of India, said, “It is a matter of extreme pride and responsibility for our nation to host her first-ever FIFA women’s tournament – the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.
“The official draw is a major milestone for all involved as the 16 participating nations now know who they play; and the path to winning this coveted trophy. I welcome all the teams to our beautiful and vibrant nation. May you mesmerise the audience when you come to India,” he added before concluding with his vision of a gender-inclusive playing field.
“This is a special tournament for women’s sport in our country as we firmly believe this event will inspire more young women to make sports a gender-inclusive playing field.”
Following the conclusion of the group games on 18th October, the top two teams from each group will progress to the quarterfinals. Navi Mumbai will kick off the double header knockouts on 21st October where winners of Group A will face the runner-up of Group B and following soon, the winners of Group B will take on the second-placed team from Group A.
The other set of quarterfinal games will take place on the next day with the first and second placed teams of Groups C and D competing against each other to earn the right to remain in Goa for the semi-finals on 26th October.
All four teams will subsequently head to Navi Mumbai to compete in the third-place match and the showpiece final to wrap up India’s first-ever FIFA women’s competition on 30th October.