The group stage draw for the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2013 took place Monday evening at the Al-Saqr conference suite at Fairmont Bab El Bahr Hotel in Abu Dhabi. The event was greeted with great fan fare that showcased the culture of the country. It was a spectacular treat that left mouths wide open including the crème de la crème of world football.
Shortly after the speech of the Chairman of the Organising Committee, Rafael Salguero, the draw took centre stage. The teams were divided into four pots for the draw, with the continental champions from Europe, Africa, South America, Asia, North and Central America and the Caribbean all seeded, and the host nation assigned the seeded position as team one in Group A. The teams were then drawn into six groups of four.
In Group A, the United Arab Emirates will be meeting Honduras, three-time world champions, Brazil and Slovakia at the Mohammed Bin Zayed stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Reigning African kings, Cote d’ivoire will have their hands full when they face powerhouse, Italy, Uruguay and New Zealand in Group B.
Nigeria will begin its quest to reclaim the title they last won in 2007 when they take on reigning world champions, Mexico at Al Ain stadium on October 19, 2013.
The 52-match FIFA U–17 World Cup UAE 2013 will be played between 17 October and 8 November in the six host cities of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, Sharjah and Al Ain.
The ceremony concluded with folk dances performed by local artists, reflecting the history and cultural treasures of the host nation.
FIFA U-17 World Cup 2013 group stage draw:
Group A :(Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah): United Arab Emirates, Honduras, Brazil, Slovakia
Group B: (Ras Al Khaimah, Abu Dhabi): Uruguay, New Zealand, Côte d'Ivoire, Italy
Group C :(Fujairah, Sharjah): Croatia, Morocco, Panama, Uzbekistan
Group D :(Sharjah, Fujairah): Tunisia, Venezuela, Russia, Japan
Group E :(Dubai, Al Ain): Canada, Austria, Iran, Argentina
Group F: (Al Ain, Dubai): Mexico, Nigeria, Iraq, Sweden