Mali, Niger book U-17 World Cup berths

Mali and Niger have qualified for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, to be hosted by India from October 6-28. Their qualification also completed the line-up of 24 teams in the tournament and came following their victories in the final group matches of CAF U-17 Africa Cup of Nations.

Mali and Niger have joined Ghana and Guinea, who had already sealed their qualification in the mega event. In fact, Niger made history by qualifying for a first-ever FIFA tournament after defeating Tanzania 1-0.

The 2016 AFC U-16 Championship held last year ensured entries for Iraq, Iran, Japan and North Korea from Asia for the World Cup. Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico and the United States of America recently qualified from the CONCACAF (Central, North American and Caribbean) region.

England, France, Germany, Spain and Turkey sealed their places for the FIFA event after finishing as the best five teams from the 2017 UEFA European Championship.

Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Paraguay are the final CONMEBOL nations that will participate from South America while New Caledonia and New Zealand have qualified from the OFC (Oceania) region.

Direct qualification

Hosts India qualified for the tournament directly. “It is very exciting to know the 24 teams that will be playing the World Cup.

“The line-up is superb, with established powerhouses in the category (such as former World Champions Brazil, Ghana and Mexico) and teams making their debut, among them the hosts India,” Javier Ceppi, tournament director of the Local Organising Committee said.

The official draw for the tournament will take place on July 7.

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