The launch date of the anthem for the FIFA U-17 World Cup has been decided and it is on the night of the draw on July 7 in Mumbai. Written by Amitabh Bhattacharya and set to music by Pritam, the song will have multiple singers though all of them may not be present for a live performance on the first night, said Joy Bhattachariya, project director of the local organizing committee of the World Cup.
Bhattachariya said, “The song would be an anthem for football and could be used for promotional activities even after the biennial tournament that will run from October 6 to 28 in six Indian cities.”
The draw in Mumbai would be celebrated with a blend of sport and Indian stars of the show. Indian Stars would not just be footballers, said Bhattacharjya. “FIFA will send two legends for the draw, one of whom would have won the under-17 World Cup. The details would be firmed up by this week,” he said.
Former Ghana stars Samuel Kuffour and Stephen Appiah, Nigeria’s Nwankwo Kanu and Celestine Babayaro and Switzerland’s Granit Xhaka are some of the big names who have won this event. But the biggest name perhaps is Ronaldinho, who won the tournament in 1997 in Egypt. That was the first of Brazil’s three under-17 World Cup titles.
“Before the World Cup, the trophy will tour India for one month, said Bhattachariya. Like with the men’s World Cup, famous former footballers will be part of that trophy experience,” he said.
Twenty-four teams, including India, will play in the World Cup. India have requested FIFA that they play in New Delhi and should the world body agree, it would be slotted in group B. According to the fixtures, India could also have to play one group match in Navi Mumbai. The teams would be split into six groups with the top two from each group and four best third-placed teams making the round of 16.
“Encouraged by the response to ticket sales when they were first released on May 16, the LOC is mulling releasing another set of tickets before the draw,” he said.