New Delhi: With the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup set to begin in next two weeks, Colombia became the first team to arrive in India for the tournament. The South American nation is placed in Group A and will play two of their group matches in New Delhi and one match in Navi Mumbai.
Upon landing in New Delhi late last night, Colombia coach Orlando Restrepo said, “We’re delighted to be here. The boys and the staff are all looking forward to a competitive tournament where we will put our best foot forward”.
Los Cafeteros will make their sixth FIFA U-17 World Cup appearance in India this October, though they haven’t played the last three editions of the tournament with Nigeria 2009 being the last FIFA U-17 World Cup they took part in.
The CONMEBOL team secured their World Cup berth by finishing third in the South American U-17 Championship that was held earlier this year. Their arrival further amplified the anticipation for the upcoming event, the first FIFA tournament that will be played in India.
Speaking about the first team’s arrival, Tournament Director of the Local Organising Committee, Javier Ceppi said, “It is very exciting to have Colombia as the first team coming into the country.
With their arrival, the Tournament now enters into the last stage, with the National Teams starting their preparations actually on-ground to get used to the conditions in India. We encourage all fans to welcome all the teams that will start arriving from now onwards and to show the hospitality of this wonderful country”. Besides Colombia and hosts India, the 22 remaining teams will be landing in India over the course of the next 15 days.