It was always going to be a momentous occasion when India hosted its first ever FIFA tournament. But even FIFA or the All India Football Federation (AIFF) would not have expected the FIFA U-17 World Cup to notch up the kind of numbers that it did when India was awarded the prestigious age group tournament a few years ago.
The 2017 edition is now the most attended tournament, besides having witnessed the most number of goals in any edition.
For players on the cusp of making it big in the world of football and teams looking for glory too, the tournament represented a chance to enter history books.
But to do that, teams not only had to outsmart the other 23 teams they also had to cope with issues like player fatigue, which is one of the biggest factors in a competition like the World Cup due to the travelling involved. Teams have to figure out a way to keep the players well rested and fresh despite the constant air travel involved. The U-17 champions England may have caught a lucky break when it came to travelling, having played six of their seven matches in Kolkata, including the semi-final which was originally scheduled in Guwahati. A look at the distances travelled by all four teams which played seven matches — England 4429 kilometres, Spain 9265 kilometres, Brazil 3722 kilometres, Mali 8589 kilometres — tells you that fatigue might have had a substantial role to play in the tournament's final and the 3rd place playoff.
Here’s a look at all the numbers that matter after the 2017 U-17 World Cup drew to a close with England clinching the title by beating continental rivals Spain in the final.
Published Date: Oct 30, 2017 12:09 PM | Updated Date: Oct 30, 2017 20:26 PM