The draw ceremony for the 2014 FIFA U-17 World Cup will today take place at Art Centre 660 in Santiago, Chile, by 12 am midnight Nigerian time, and only then will the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria know their group phase opponents whom they will be tackling over the coming weeks.
During the official draw ceremony, 24 countries that qualified for the competition would be divided into six groups of four teams each, and only then will other countries equally know who they will be facing at the competition.
Sports analysts think Nigeria – four-time winner and defending champion, will be grouped together with host country Chile. Golden Eaglet’s head coach Emmanuel Amunike confessed he does not foresee an easy draw because all contenders in the competition look towards winning the FIFA U-17 trophy – even at that, Nigeria will be all out to defend their title.
“We are waiting to see who and who we are going to meet after the draw on Thursday,” said Amunike, a former African Footballer of the Year winner. “Though we don’t have the luxury of choosing the teams we want, we are preparing well for the tournament and we would be ready to give a good account of ourselves.”
The 24 -team cast is made up of six from Europe (Belgium, France, Germany, Russia, Croatia and England); four from Asia (Australia, Korea Republic, Syria and Korea DPR); four from North America (Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica and USA); five from South America (Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Paraguay and host Chile); one from Oceania (New Zealand) and; the African quartet of Mali, Guinea, South Africa and Nigeria.
And then, the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup would be held between October 17 and November 8 across eight Chilean cities: La Serena, Coquimbo, Vina Del Mar, Chillan, Talca, Santiago De Chile, Concepcion and Puerto Montt.