With 238 days to go until the start of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, the Official Mascot of the tournament was revealed today at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
In a ceremony attended by India’s Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Vijay Goel, and the chairman of the Local Organising Committee, Praful Patel, the young and charismatic face of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, a clouded leopard called Kheleo, was introduced to hundreds of fans and media representatives.
The clouded leopard is a vulnerable wild cat whose habitat extends from the Himalayan foothills to mainland Southeast Asia.
To commemorate Kheleo’s first public appearance, Mr Goel said to the gathered guests: “We are sure that he will be one of the most memorable mascots a sporting event in India has ever seen. Kheleo is young, vibrant, enthusiastic and a perfect representation of our country. He will help us to involve kids with football in a fun way.”
Citing the Official Mascot as a major component of the overall event brand that will represent the tournament and the host country, Mr Patel added: “Presenting Kheleo as the Official Mascot to the world is another big step for our event. As the face of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, he will be going across the country to promote the tournament and to inspire kids and adults alike.”
Kheleo will participate in numerous activities in the run-up to the first FIFA tournament to be hosted by India, which will be played from 6 to 28 October 2017.