Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, Chairman for the General Authority of Youth and Sports and Chairman of the Higher Local Organising Committee (LOC) for FIFA U-17 World Cup 2013 in UAE, has stressed the importance of the LOC’s role to put on an extraordinary FIFA U-17 World Cup this October, during a meeting with LOC, FIFA delegates and media.

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, said: “The Emirates boasts a state-of-the-art infrastructure and world-class sporting facilities that allows us to stage international tournaments such as the FIFA U-17 World Cup. This is one of FIFA’s oldest and biggest international tournaments and bringing this event to the UAE is a natural fit.

“The UAE has hosted a series of international sporting events over the years and a common goal that we continuously strive towards is putting on successful events that support our country’s efforts in making its mark in the global arena.”

The LOC Chairman went on to emphasize the value that the FIFA U-17 World Cup could bring to the Emirates’ up and coming football stars. “We are a nation that is passionate about football and with the world’s best U-17 teams arriving here in two months, we are confident that this will be an unforgettable tournament for our fans, teams and the UAE as a proud host nation.”

The LOC and FIFA have just kicked off a final round of inspections ahead of the Official Draw, which takes place on August 26. “It is crucial that we operate as one football family and work together to be able to stage an outstanding tournament that we are all proud of. Preparations for the tournament are in full swing and we are making good progress on a number of key areas with our partners,” added Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak.

The final 24 qualified nations will begin the tournament in six groups of four, with the top two teams in each group automatically qualifying for the round of 16. The four best third-placed teams from the group stages will also progress to the knock-out stages.