The presence of Elias Figueroa, Marcelo Salas and Ivan Zamorano, three of Chile’s greatest-ever football stars, will light up the Final Draw for the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015, scheduled to take place on Thursday 6 August in the Centro de las Artes 660 art gallery in Santiago, the host nation’s capital city.
The ceremony, which will be followed very closely by coaches of the 24 participating teams, will begin at 8pm local time and will be broadcast live on FIFA.com. No fewer than 18 national coaches have confirmed that they will attend the event, a clear indication of its importance and impact.
The Final Draw is a significant milestone on the road towards the prestigious tournament, which will run from 17 October to 8 November 2015 in eight host cities spread across the South American country.
Figueroa, Salas and Zamorano, who boast a total of five senior FIFA World Cup™ adventures between them, top an impressive list of attendees which also features David Pizarro and Jean Beausejour, who were both members of the Chile squad that recently captured the Copa America for the first time in the nation’s history.
“It’s a real honour and pleasure to be invited to take part in this draw,” said Beausejour, who at 31 has amassed 70 caps and appeared at two senior World Cups. “I wasn’t lucky enough to have played in a youth World Cup, but I would have loved to have done so. I’m sure it will be an invaluable experience for the Chileans, as well as for the other players – for them and for their future careers.”
Also in attendance will be Dante Poli, a key component of the Chilean team that finished third at the 1993 U-17 World Cup in Japan, Christiane Endler, captain of the Chilean women’s national side, Maria Jose Moya, the 2012 world 200m speed skating champion and bronze medallist at the 2015 Pan American Games, and Tomas Gonzalez, the first Chilean gymnast to appear at the Olympic Games and to qualify for an Olympic final (at London 2012).
“It was a very pleasant surprise to be invited; it made me really happy,” Moya told FIFA.com. “I’ve got no doubt that a competition of this calibre is extremely beneficial for football and for other high-performance sports. I imagine that each team must be very anxious to know who they’re going to be facing. It’s the same for all athletes.”
Jaime Yarza, the FIFA U-17 World Cup event manager, who will be in charge of the draw on the night, was quick to agree with the speed skater. “The FIFA U-17 World Cup will be a very important event for football in Chile, but also for all sports in the country, and that’s reflected in the personalities invited to the draw. We’re confident that the tournament will leave a legacy for all types of sporting activity.”
Entertainment at the ceremony will be provided by DJ Mendez, the Chilean singer who composed the official song for Chile 2015, and by Brochico, the competition’s official mascot.