The draw for the 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup Indonesia 2023 took place on Friday evening, 15 September, with five-time cadet champions, Nigeria, conspicuously missing from the pots as they failed to qualify after the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations in Algeria, earlier in the year.
Other African representatives; Morocco, Mali, Senegal and Burkina Faso (who eliminated Nigeria in the U-17 AFCON) will face tricky opponents in the group stage.
The draw was conducted by Jaime Yarza, Director FIFA Tournaments, with Stephen Appiah and Julio Cesar – a former FIFA U-17 World Cup champion and finalist respectively – acting as assistants.
Hosts Indonesia will face off in the opening match of the tournament against Ecuador, while the group-stage draw also threw up a mouth-watering clash between the past two winners of the tournament, Brazil and England.
Matches at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Indonesia 2023 will take place across four host cities – Surabaya, Surakarta, Jakarta and Bandung. The tournament begins on November 10 and the winners will be crowned in Surakarta on 2 December.
The 24 nations have been split into six groups of four.
The top two in each group, along with the four best third-placed teams, will reach the knockout phase.
Thereafter, a last 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals, a third-place play-off and final will unfold.
Nigeria are the most successful team in the history of the tournament with five titles.
Previous U-17 World Cup winners
1987: Soviet Union
1989: Saudi Arabia
Izuchukwu Okosi is a Nigerian sports and entertainment journalist with two decades of experience in the media industry having begun his media journey in 2002 as an intern at Mundial Sports International (MSI) and Africa Independent Television (AIT), owners of Daar Communications Plc.
In October 2004, Okosi joined Complete Communications Limited, publishers of Complete Sports newspaper and Complete Football magazine as a reporter and later script writer for the Complete Sports studio.
He worked there for 13 years until October 2017.
Okosi also worked various times as Correspondent, Content creator and Editor at Sports Market International Magazine, Opera News, All Nigeria Soccer Media and Iconic Media Watch.
He also undertook freelance writing gigs for some local and international organizations.
Okosi is a member of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Association of Movie Producers (AMP), Association of Voiceover Artistes of Nigeria (AVOA), Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) and Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
He has been part of cast in some Nollywood movies and radio dramas including Blood Money 2, Scores To Settle, Dead End 2, Another Campus Tale and Battle Line.
Aside mainstream media and the entertainment industry, he has interests in scouting/unearthing of talents in the sports and creative sectors, exports business and property development.