Over 600,000 tickets already sold
Meeting today (16 August) in Seoul, the Organising Committee for the FIFA U-17 World Cup, chaired by FIFA vice-president Jack Austin Warner (Trinidad and Tobago), registered its delight at the widespread interest shown in the 12th FIFA U-17 World Cup. So far, more than 600,000 tickets have been sold for the 24-team, 52-match tournament, which will kick off on 18 August and conclude with the final in Seoul on 9 September.
Some months ago, the local organising committee for the event announced that it was hoping to break the FIFA U-17 World Cup's long-standing attendance record of 735,000, which was set in the People's Republic of China in 1985 when the competition was held for the first time (as a U-16 event with 16 teams).
The huge interest from TV broadcasters is equally gratifying, with coverage of this prestigious youth event set to be beamed to 203 countries.
On a slightly less positive note, the FIFA Organising Committee was informed during today's meeting that no fewer than six of the refereeing trios (three from CONMEBOL, two from CONCACAF and one from AFC) selected for the tournament in Korea had been sent home because one or more members of their respective team had failed fitness tests.
Three new refereeing trios (one each from CONMEBOL, CONCACAF and AFC) have since been called up as replacements. In view of the fact that all of these trios were in action in the recent FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada, they will not need to retake the fitness test. As a result, there will be eleven refereeing trios officiating at the tournament (AFC: 3; CAF: 2; CONCACAF: 1; CONMEBOL: 2; OFC: 1; UEFA: 5) as well as two AFC representatives serving as fourth officials.