Salguero: A springboard for future stars
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On Wednesday 16 October, Rafael Salguero, Chairman of the Organising Committee for the FIFA U-17 World Cup, and H. E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Culture, Youth & Community Development and Chairman of the Local Organising Committee for the FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013, fielded questions from the media at a press conference before the start of the tournament.

Rafael Salguero, Chairman of the Organising Committee for the FIFA U-17 World Cup
On preparations for the FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013
It is a great pleasure to be a guest of the United Arab Emirates. My thanks go to the Local Organising Committee and all FIFA employees collectively involved in ensuring that all hurdles were successfully cleared during the preparation stage. The United Arab Emirates have already hosted FIFA tournaments here with great success in the past, so I am sure that this U-17 World Cup will also be a successful tournament in every respect. We hope to see full stadiums and great enthusiasm at every venue.

On the significance of a FIFA U-17 World Cup
We are ready to kick off a fantastic tournament that should serve as a springboard for the future stars of world football. The U-17 World Cup forms an important part of the pyramid of FIFA competitions and is crucial for the development of the young players taking part in this tournament.

On scanning players’ wrists to determine their age
Ahead of the tournament, the FIFA medical department tested four randomly selected players from each team to check that all players are in the correct age group for this tournament.

H. E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Culture, Youth & Community Development
On preparations for the FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013
The countdown is now in its final stages, and we are extremely happy to be hosting this fantastic tournament. All preparations have been successfully completed. I would like to thank our colleagues from FIFA, who have worked hard with the Local Organising Committee to make this tournament a success. We are ready, all our preparatory work is complete and the stadiums are finished. All that remains now is for me to wish all the competitors a successful tournament.

On the legacy of the FIFA U-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates
All our stadiums and facilities comply with international standards, creating an excellent infrastructure that will also benefit the host cities and their clubs. This will be vital for developing our country’s promising young talent.

On distributing free tickets
We contacted our partners and sponsors. Many of these companies, as well as some clubs, bought tickets to pass on to fans free of charge. Therefore they are not free tickets in the usual sense, but tickets that were purchased and are now being handed out.