Today, the United States qualified for the 2012 Under-17 Women’s World Cup by defeating Panama 7:0 in the semifinals of the CONCACAF Under-17 Women’s Championship. Also, Canada qualified by defeating Mexico 1:0. Panama and Mexico will play for the final spot from CONCACAF on Saturday.
Here are some key things to know about the U-17 WWC.
- Host Country: Azerbaijan
- Dates: September 22nd to October 13th (Match schedule, PDF)
- Draw Date: July 6th
- Number of Teams: 16
- TV/Online Rights (USA, English Language): ESPN networks
- Tournament Website: www.fifa.com/u17womensworldcup/
(This tournament kicks off two weeks after the U-20 WWC finishes: August 19th to September 8th.)
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Four of the six confederations have completed qualification, with UEFA (Europe) and CONCACAF the only two to not yet have all their spots decided.
- Host (1): Azerbaijan
- Africa (3): Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia
- Asia (3): Japan, North Korea, China
- North America (3): United States, Canada,…
- Oceania (1): New Zealand
- South America (3): Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia
YET TO QUALIFY
Europe. UEFA has two spots (besides the host) and their tournament is down to a four-team knock-out phase, with the winners of the semifinals going to the U-17 WWC. That phase of the tournament will be played in late June, in Switzerland, with the win-or-go-home semifinals on June 26th. The two semifinal match-ups:
- Switzerland vs. France
- Denmark vs. Germany
With France and Germany being the favorites in their matches. Tournament Website (UEFA.com)
North America. CONCACAF has one spot left to decide, which will be between Panama and Mexico, in the third-place match of the U-17 Championship, which will be played on Saturday.
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The tournament is a traditional sixteen team world cup, with the teams divided into four groups of four, and the top two teams in each group advance to the knock-out stage which consists of quarterfinals, semifinals, a third-place match, and a final.
Most of the matches will be held in Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku, which has four venues that will be used, with Lankaran being the only other host city.
No Extra Time: In the knock-out stage, if the teams are tied after the end of regulation, the match will go straight to a penalty shoot-out. There will not be thirty minutes of added time. This was a change made in 2011 for all U-17 and under FIFA tournaments, including the men’s. The original proposal was put forth by “the Medical Committee and the FIFA Task Force Football 2014″ (PDF on the U-17 Men’s World Cup).
Roster Size: 21 players, including three goalkeepers.
See also, the full regulations (PDF).