The road map to the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup was laid out on Tuesday with draw for the tournament. The 24 teams that had qualified were drawn out of bowls at the Sala Nezahualcóyotl concert hall in Mexico City before 600 guests and 200 journalists and out came the six groups for the tournament.
Hosts Mexico are favored in Group A along with the Netherlands, but the Group of Death comes in Group F. The group includes Brazil, who are three-time champions, African power Ivory Coast, Australia and Denmark. The United States are with darkhorses Czech Republic, but fared well in drawing Uzbekistan and New Zealand.
The U-17 World Cup begins on June 18 with a doubleheader of Group A matches in Morelia. The group winners and runners-up from each group will move on to the 16-team knockout stages, along with the four best third-place teams. The final of the tournament will be played at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, which holds over 105,000 people and hosted the 1970 and 1986 World Cup finals and the 1968 Summer Olympics.
Switzerland are the defending tournament champions after winning the 2009 event in Nigeria, but did not qualify for this year's tournament. The Nigerians have either been winners of runners-up in three of the last four tournaments and are tied with Brazil for the most U-17 titles with three.
Group A (Morelia/Monterrey)
1. Mexico 2. Korea DPR 3. Congo 4. Netherlands
Group B (Monterrey/Morelia)
1. Japan 2. Jamaica 3. France 4. Argentina
Group C (Pachuca/Torreon)
1. Uruguay 2. Canada 3. Rwanda 4. England
Group D (Torreon/Pachuca)
1. United States 2. Czech Republic 3. Uzbekistan 4. New Zealand
Group E (Queretaro/Guadalajara)
1. Burkina Faso 2. Panama 3. Germany 4. Ecuador
Group F (Guadalajara/ Queretaro)
1. Australia 2. Côte d'Ivoire 3. Brazil 4. Denmark