FACT FILE ON THE FIFA U-17 WORLD CUP

FACT FILE ON THE FIFA U-17 WORLD CUP

The 2019 edition which begins in Brazil this Saturday the 18th  edition since the inaugural one as U16 World Tournament in China in 1985.

  • The competition was first held in 1985 and has since been held by all six confederations: Africa  (twice, in Egypt and Nigeria), Asia (five times, in India, Korea Republic, China PR, Japan and the United Arab Emirates), Oceania (once, in New Zealand), North, Central America and the Caribbean (three times, in Canada, Trinidad & Tobago and Mexico), Europe (three times, in Scotland, Italy and Finland) and the upcoming event in Brazil will be for the fourth time the competition is held in South America, previously in Ecuador, Peru and Chile.
  • Up to and including the 2005 edition, the tournament was played with 16 teams, which was increased to 24 as of 2007.
  • A total of 82 associations have taken part in the FIFA U-17 World Cup to date.
  • Of the 24 associations that have qualified just once for the tournament, only Switzerland (2009) won the title at their first and so far only participation.
  • Excluding the first edition of the tournament in 1985, the highest number of debutants was seven in 1987, 1989 and 2007.
  • Angola, Senegal and Solomon Islands will be the three debutants at this year’s tournament.
  • With 53 wins in the under-17 age group, Brazil lead the all-time ranking followed by Nigeria with 46 wins.
  • Seven of the 17 tournaments have been won by two African teams – Ghana (2) and Nigeria (5), which is also the most number of titles won by any confederation.
  • Nigeria have reached eight finals (1985, 1987, 1993, 2001, 2007, 2009, 2013 and 2015) and won five, in 1985, 1993, 2007, 2013 and 2015.
  • Ghana reached the final four times in a row (1991, 1993, 1995 and 1997), winning twice (1991 and 1995).
  • At the 1993 tournament won by Nigeria, kick-in was employed as experiment instead of the conventional throw-in
  • Brazil have made it to the final on five occasions (1995, 1997, 1999, 2003 and 2005), winning three times (in 1997, 1999 and 2003).
  • As for the number of times that teams have taken part, the USA and Brazil (16 apiece) are practically evergreens, ahead of Argentina and Mexico (13).
  • The highest average number of goals per match was recorded at the 1997 and 2003 tournaments in Egypt and Finland (3.66 goals per match), followed by India 2017 (3.52) and Peru 2005 (3.47).
  • A total of 664 matches have been played since the inaugural tournament in China PR in 1985.
  • Brazil have contested the most matches (82), followed by Nigeria (63) and Argentina (61).
  • Nigeria have won an impressive 73% of their 63 FIFA U-17 World Cup games, followed by Brazil with 65% of 82. Switzerland is the only team to have won 100% of their matches but have only played seven.
  • Fifteen different teams have played in a FIFA U-17 World Cup final, and nine different teams have lifted the trophy.
  • Thirty-two sides, with every confederation represented, have reached the semi-finals, indicating a considerably level playing field in this age group.
  • In 1987, 1989, 1999 and 2007, the final was decided on penalties and on each occasion, a team from a different confederation came out on top.
  • Three times have teams from the same confederation met in the final, with Ghana playing Nigeria in 1993, Nigeria meeting Mali in 2015, and England against Spain in 2017.

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