FIFA U-17 World Cup record 
Iraq have only one FIFA U-17 World Cup appearance to their name, at UAE 2013. That experience was not particularly memorable as they finished last in Group F. Iraq lost all three of their matches, against Sweden, Mexico and Nigeria, the teams that eventually claimed first, second and third place in the tournament.

Road to India 
Iraq emerged victorious from the 2016 AFC U-16 Championship, defeating Iran in the final to become Asian champions for the first time. After finishing second in Group C, they saw off the challenge of Uzbekistan (2-0) in the quarter-finals, booking their berth at India 2017 in the process. In the last four, the young Iraqis eliminated Japan, prior to getting the better of Iran on penalties after the showpiece match had ended 0-0.

The coach 
Qahtan Jathir made history by guiding his charges to Iraq’s first-ever AFC U-16 Championship success in October 2016. His playing career began at Iraqi club Al Talaba, and also included spells in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, during which time he represented Iraq at the 2000 AFC Asian Cup. Jathir hung up his boots in 2007, and went on to coach Al-Sinaa, Al-Najaf and Al-Shorta.

The stat 
6 – After failing to find the net in the first two matches of the 2016 AFC U-16 Championship, forward Mohammed Dawood made a welcome breakthrough against Oman in Iraq’s final group-stage match, and then notched a brace against Uzbekistan in the quarter-finals and a hat-trick versus Japan in the last four. This delayed burst of attacking play earned the striker the top goalscorer and player of the tournament awards.