United Arab Emirates will meet Honduras

Dubai, Aug 26, 2013: In Group A, the United Arab Emirates will meet Honduras, Brazil and Slovakia. The opening match at 17.00 local time on 17 October sees the Brazil and Slovakia face off at Mohammed Bin Zayed stadium in Abu Dhabi.

CONCACAF champions Mexico start the defence of the trophy they won two years ago on home soil in Group F against Nigeria, Iraq and Sweden. This group is based at Al Ain stadium, with the Mexicans opening their campaign on 19 October against Nigeria.

Nigeria and Brazil, the most successful nations in tournament history, are once again present at the 2013 edition, ensuring a spectacular tournament for the fans. Nigeria, as aforementioned, were drawn into Group F, with Brazil seeking to lay the foundations for their fourth triumph at this level in Group A against the hosts.

The 52-match FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013 will be played between 17 October and 8 November in the six host cities of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, Sharjah and Al Ain.

Team quotes following the Official Draw for the FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013

What are your initial thoughts after tonight’s draw? What do you know about your opponents and who do you think will be the toughest?

Brazil (Physical Coach Elliot Alves):

We are very happy to play the group stage in Abu Dhabi. We are already looking for information about our opponents and expect a tough game against UAE with a good atmosphere at the stadium.

Italy (Team Manager Danilo Filacchione):

It’s a World Cup so we’re aware every team is at a very high standard. Great Respect for Uruguay, we will start studying the opponents. Two teams play a physical football and Uruguay has fantasy so it will be challenging.

New Zealand (Head Coach Darren Bazeley):

We have drawn a tough group and will have to play against some very good football countries. We think that they will be different styles, Ivory Coast very physical and strong and quick, Italy very technical and tactical. Uruguay very good players, all 3 will be tough.

Austria (Head Coach Hermann Stadler):

We are satisfied with the draw result. We have got no information about each opponent. If you look at the names Argentina will be the favourite.

Mexico (Team Representative Sergio Almaguer):

The event will be very well organised, the hospitality of the people will be wonderful and it looks that all the people are already into the tournament. All our rivals are very tough and respectful, I cannot mention the most difficult one because the 3 are great teams.

Sweden (Coach Roland Larsson):

It’s a tough group where we are not the favourites. Don’t know much about the competitors but it’s now we start to study. We believe both Mexico and Nigeria will be hard to defeat.

Iraq (Coach Hussein MUWAFAQ):

I think our group is very strong with good teams who already won the trophy before. We have some information on our opponents. All teams deserve to be in this championship.

Canada (Head Coach Sean Fleming):

We are not disappointed; we knew it would be 3 tough games. The main idea is to focus and take one game at a time, so for now we will concentrate on Austria and subsequently put all our energy and attention on game 2 and 3 afterwards.

How will your team prepare for this tournament? What goals have you set for your team? What would constitute a success for your country at the end of this tournament?

Brazil (Physical Coach Elliot Alves):

We have a training camp in Brazil before coming to UAE to get our team prepared. Our main goal is to have a good performance and reach the final. We hope to finish our journey in UAE as U-17 World Champion.

Italy (Team Manager Danilo Filacchione):

Success for Italy in such a tournament is “living the dream” and trying always our best. We know we were a surprise during the European tournament and we would like to surprise the world again here.

New Zealand (Head Coach Darren Bazeley):

We are already in training and will go into camp on 30th September. We have some games against mens National League teams and then hope to arrive in UAE early to play a game and acclimatise, we aim to surprise a few people and teams and our aim is to get out of the group whilst giving our players the experience to continue to develop on the world stage.

Austria (Head Coach Hermann Stadler):

We will prepare with a double header against Uzbekistan. We will take it from game to game and try to represent Austria as good as possible. We are very proud to be part of this FIFA World Cup.

Mexico (Team Representative Sergio Almaguer):

It is a process of two years, playing versus great teams all around the world. Our goal for this tournament is defending our championship, respecting all the opponents and going step by step. I would consider a success that our team give their best in every match, if as a result of that we can become champions that will be a success.

Sweden (Coach Roland Larsson):

We will prepare the team with friendly games and a training camp in Turkey 2 – 9 September. In addition we come to the UAE 5 days prior to the first match. The goal is to progress from the group. That would constitute as success.

Iraq (Coach Hussein MUWAFAQ):

We are going to play some friendly matches as preparation for the final. And our goal is to go as far as we can on the tournament.

Canada (Head Coach Sean Fleming):

Success for the team would be to deliver 3 good performances hopefully leading to positive results and allowing us to get to the next round. Keeping in mind that our primary objective remains to put 3 solid performances out there.

What are your first impressions of the UAE and what do you expect from the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2013 from a personal point of view?

Brazil (Physical Coach Elliot Alves):

I am very impressed with the Organisation of UAE and my expectation is to do a good job reaching the goals established.

Italy (Team Manager Danilo Filacchione):

Very good impression, excellent welcome that was very appreciated by us. We were impressed by the modernity and the organisation.

New Zealand (Head Coach Darren Bazeley):

First impressions are that it is very hot and that the infrastructure and facilities are very progressive and developed. I expect that the World Cup will be a big success and very well organised and we are looking forward to returning here with our team in October.

Austria (Head Coach Hermann Stadler):

My first impression is that everything is very well organised. The staff is very friendly and helpful. I expect that the players get a very important experience which helps them to move to the next step of their career.

Mexico (Team Representative Sergio Almaguer):

My first impressions of UAE are that it is a very disciplined country, very well organised.

Sweden (Coach Roland Larsson):

First impression is that it’s very well organised and has the possibility to be a great tournament. We’re looking forward to a great experience.

Iraq (Coach Hussein MUWAFAQ):

UAE is a nice country and a good host. They will give us one of the best FIFA U-17 World Cups. This tournament will be good and exciting and maybe bring a new champion.

Canada (Head Coach Sean Fleming):

Very impressed by the organisation, the quality of the people, friendliness, the passion for football in the country and the great spirit we can feel and experience throughout Abu Dhabi. I personally expect Canada to show its football, character and spirit with people positively speaking about our team’s performances. —- FIFA

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