The Hotel Fairmont Bab El Bahr in Abu Dhabi provided the setting for Monday’s draw for the FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013, with the 24 qualifiers learning who they will be facing in the group phase of the tournament, which kicks off on 17 October.
FIFA.com was among the many media outlets covering the draw and was on hand to ask the head coaches and team representatives attending the event for their views on their respective sections.
“The teams in our group are evenly matched and they all have a chance of qualifying. We’re not scared of anyone, no matter what their track record or reputation is. We are well prepared and I hope the players will be up to the task,” UAE coach Rashed Amer.
“It’s fantastic to be here. We know we’ve got some difficult matches coming up. We’re happy to be facing the Emirati team but we know it will be a difficult match because they’re playing at home in front of their own fans,” Honduras coach Jose Valladares.
“We’re pleased to be playing in Abu Dhabi and we’re going to put in the right preparations for our opponents. The match against the UAE looks like a tough one, and there’ll be a big crowd making lots of noise,” Brazil physical trainer Elliot Alves.
“The Emirates are hosting the competition and they’ll have a large and enthusiastic support behind them. Brazil is a major footballing nation and Honduras are a good side,” Slovakia administrator David Vailing.
“All the teams in the group are strong and facing them is going to be a challenge for us. We expected to be drawn into a tight group and we’ll need to give it our very best shot to achieve our objective,” Uruguay coach Fabian Coito.
“The other teams in the group all have different styles of play. Côte d'Ivoire are fast and strong, Italy play a tactical game and Uruguay rely on the talent of their players. They won’t be easy games for us,” New Zealand coach Darren Bazeley.
“It’s been a good draw for us. You’re bound to face big teams in the World Cup. We played Italy at Peru 2005 and we know we’ll need to watch out for them,” Côte d’Ivoire administrator Anthony Bevgre.
“You only get good teams in the World Cup. We have a lot of respect for Uruguay and we’ll be taking a close look at our rivals right away,” Italy coach Danilo Filacchione.
“Overall I’m pretty satisfied with the draw. I think Uzbekistan will be our biggest threat in the group,” Croatia technical director Romeo Jozak.
“There are no big teams in this group and it’s very open. You don’t come up against any pushovers in the World Cup and we’ll need to be ready if we want to do well against our rivals and qualify,” Morocco coach Abdullah Al Idrissi.
“There are no favourites in this group. All the matches will be difficult and we need to prepare as well as we can,” Uzbekistan coach Dilshod Nuraliev.
“We’ve been drawn into a tough group with some very different teams. It’s hard to say who’s the strongest, though I’d be inclined to say Russia have the edge,” Tunisia coach Abdelhay Ben Soltane.
“We are pleased with the group, even if we don’t know the other teams that well. I think Japan will be the toughest side we have to face,” Russia administrator Alexey Nesterovich.
“It’s an honour for us to take part in this competition and come up against sides like these. We’re going to prepare as hard as we can to achieve our goal, though it’s Russia who are in pole position to qualify,” Japan administrator Tomokazu Ikebe.
“It’s not a bad draw and we knew what to expect. We need to take each game as it comes, and right now we’re thinking about Austria and no one else,” Canada coach Sean Fleming.
“I’m satisfied with the draw but we don’t know anything about the other teams. Argentina are the group favourites. There’s no doubt about that,” Austria coach Hermann Stadler.
“There’s not a weak team in the group and there’s no easy game. Some of the teams will pose a big challenge for us, Argentina included,” Iran coach Ali Doustimehr.
“It’s a fairly tight group with three good sides. Our aim is to reach the final and we’ll be preparing with that goal in mind,” Argentina coach Humberto Grondona.
“Every side in the group is strong and they deserve our utmost respect. It’s hard to say which team is the toughest for us because they’ve all got a lot of quality,” Mexico representative Sergio Almaguer.
“It’s a tricky group with teams who’ve won things. We know a little bit about our opponents, who’ve all shown they deserve to be here,” Iraq coach Muwafaq Hussain.
“It’s a difficult group and we’re definitely not the favourites. Mexico and Nigeria are our main rivals and the opening game against Iraq will be decisive,” Sweden coach Roland Larsson.