The Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 unveiled the Official Emblem for what will be the country’s first international football event. The ceremony at Goa’s Marriott Hotel was attended by FIFA President Gianni Infantino and Praful Patel, Chairman of the LOC and of the All India Football Federation (AIFF).

“It is clear for all to see how football has already been making huge strides in India,” said FIFA President Infantino, “but there is still so much room for growth, and the FIFA U-17 World Cup can be an ideal catalyst to develop the sport even further and across the whole country. This is an exceptional opportunity to combine two of FIFA’s core missions: to organise tournaments and to promote football development.”  

Fittingly launched during the AFC U-16 Championship, which also serves as the first set of qualifiers for next year’s tournament, the emblem of the first-ever FIFA tournament in India was designed as a celebration of the country’s richness and diversity of cultures, with the main elements of the Indian Ocean, the banyan tree, the kite and the starburst, which is an interpretation of the Ashoka Chakra, an integral part of the national identity.

Each of these elements has been selected for its deep significance in the culture of the country. The Indian Ocean that serves as the base of the emblem is an integral part of the subcontinent. The banyan tree is the national tree of India, deeply rooted in the culture and ethos of the country and under which rural communities traditionally gather to take all major decisions in its shade.

The kite is the symbol of freedom and fun. Popular across the country, it represents the soaring aspirations of India’s young and vibrant democracy. Finally, the starburst that sits on the top of the emblem evokes festivity and celebration, representing all the festivals that grace this multicultural country and making a statement that the FIFA U-17 World Cup will be a new festival for all calendars.

Shaped like the FIFA U-17 World Cup trophy, the emblem combines the global look of the beautiful game with a quintessentially Indian feel. It represents what the tournament stands for.

Talking about the launch, Patel said, “This is a historic occasion for India and the AIFF. Hosting our first FIFA tournament will change the way football is seen in our country forever.”

Tournament Director of the LOC, Javier Ceppi added, “This is a very important landmark for our event, as we now have a very distinct image. With the Emblem Launch, we will go out to the masses and make sure that the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 is seen across the nation as another festival in our calendar of celebrations: the festival of football. We really have to make this fantastic opportunity count.”

The FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 will be held in six venues across the country during October 2017.