Chiclayo to host draw for finals
The FIFA U-17 World Championship will be played under the warm South American sun later this year, but it was snowing and sub-zero in Zurich when FIFA and the Peruvian Organising Committee met to finalise arrangements for September's showcase event. Among the items decided on in the Swiss city were the date and venue for the eagerly awaited draw for the finals.
Go to Peru 2005 section
After a series of meetings held between 15 and 17 February, it was decided that 16 July would be the date for the gala draw, and that the colourful city of Chiclayo, known locally as the "City of Friendship", would host the event. The official mascot for the Championship will also be unveiled on the same day.
From 16 September to 2 October 2005, Peru will take up where Finland left off in 2003 and host the eleventh edition of the FIFA U-17 World Championship. Following on from the success of the 2004 Copa América, which the country also hosted, football fans the world over will be able to witness the future stars of planet football. Among those who graced earlier editions of the tournament with their raw talent were players of the calibre of Paulo Wanchope, Fernando Redondo, Luis Figo, Adriano, Alessandro Del Piero, Francesco Totti, Hidetoshi Nakata, Ronaldinho, Xavi, Carlos Tévez and Fernando Torres.
Of the 16 finalists who will be competing for the crown currently worn by Brazil, only four are already known: Peru, China, Korea DPR and Qatar. The other 12 competing nations will be decided between now and June after the conclusion of the qualifying tournaments in the remaining continents.
The official confirmation of the Host Cities and the corresponding dates for the tournament fixtures will both be announced on 1 March. After that, the countdown to kick-off can begin in earnest. For those of you who want an early taste of "finals fever", check out the U-17 section where you can find the latest news, exclusive interviews and a host of cultural, historical and practical information on one of the most spectacular countries in South America.