India have been placed in Group A of the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup alongside USA, Colombia and Ghana as per the official draw conducted in Mumbai on Friday evening.
Hosting a FIFA-organised world event for the very first time, the subcontinent nation is also making its maiden bow in the finals of such a competition for the very first time, across all age groups and senior events.
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Numbered A1, India are slated to play all their home matches at the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi. Alongside the Colts, USA (A2) Colombia (A3) and Ghana (A4) make up Group A.
The Luis Norton de Matos coached side will open their campaign against USA on the opening day of the tournament on 6th October. They will also face off against Colombia and Ghana on 9th and 12th October respectively in the national capital.
India were first supposed to play all their matches in Navi Mumbai, but was later shifted to the 58,000 seater stadium in New Delhi at the behest of the Indian federal government.
Apart from New Delhi and Navi Mumbai, four other venues will host games - Goa, Kochi, Guwahati and Kolkata with the latter hosting the final on 28th October.
The 24 participating teams have been divided into six groups of four. The top two teams from each group and the best four third-placed teams progress to the round of 16 knock-out games.
If the hosts finish on top of their group, they will move to Navi Mumbai to play their knock-out game, else they could stay back in New Delhi itself if they end runners-up in Group A. Goa or New Delhi could host India's match if they progress as a top four third-placed team, contingent to further combinations of results during the group stages.
One of the favourites for the tournament, Brazil, have been drawn in Group D alongside Spain,North Korea and Niger while England are placed in Group F where they will take on Iraq, Mexico and Chile.
Here are the groups:
Group A: India, USA, Colombia, Ghana
Group B: Paraguay, Mali, New Zealand, Turkey
Group C: Iran, Guinea, Germany, Costa Rica
Group D: North Korea, Niger, Brazil, Spain
Group E: Honduras, Japan, New Caledonia, France
Group F: Iraq, Mexico, Chile, England