2016 FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup Draw: England Face Tricky Group

The draw for the 2016 FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup held in Jordan was made on Monday 30 May at the Al-Hussein Cultural Centre in Amman.

2016 FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup Draw: England Face Tricky Group
The Four Groups of the 2016 FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup. (FIFA.com)w

The draw for the FIFA Under 17-women's World Cup was overseen by the President of the Jordanian Football Association, His Highness Prince Ali bin Hussein, alongside FIFA Council member Lydia Nsekera.

Alia Touqan and Mohammed Al Madfai presented the draw and they were assisted by the Jordanian sportswomen Maha Barghouthi, Dana Haider, Stephanie Al Naber and Yasmeen Khair – as well as the CEO of the FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup Local Organising Committee, Samar Nassar.

Sixteen teams were split into four groups of four teams

Group A: Jordan, Spain, Mexico, New Zealand
Group B: Venezuela, Germany, Cameroon, Canada
Group C: Nigeria, Brazil, England, Korea DPR
Group D: USA, Paraguay, Ghana, Japan

The World Cup will take place in four stadiums in three cities – Irbid, Zarqa and Amman – with the largest stadium being the Amman International Stadium which has a capacity of 25,000. It will host the opening match and the Final.

The Hosts

This is the first time that the hosts Jordan have ever taken part in the Under-17 World Cup, and they will be one of two debutants are the competition alongside Cameroon.

Jordan will begin their competition with the UEFA Under-17 Championship Runners-up Spain, who also finished runners-up in the 2014 Under-17 World Cup.

After Spain, they will face Mexico and New Zealand.

FIFA Under-17 World Cup History

The Under-17 World Cup was first held in 2008 in New Zealand as FIFA introduced a second youth tournament after the success of the Under-19 World Cup.

The tournament is run every four years and consists of 16 teams. It has been a competition mainly dominated by Asian countries, with three of four winners being North Korea, South Korea and Japan. The other winner was France in 2012 when they beat North Korea 7-6 on penalties.

England's Qualification

John Griffiths' England Under-17 sealed their place at the World Cup by finishing in third-place at the 2016 UEFA Women's Under-17 Championship. With the top three sides qualifying, they lost their Semi-Final to Germany 4-3 in an epic game.

But they recovered to beat Norway 2-1 in the Third-Place Play-off, thanks to the Liverpool forward Niamh Charles.

Charles goal secured England third place against Norway | Photo: uefa.com
Charles goal secured England third place against Norway | Photo: uefa.com

The other representative from Europe is Spain who lost the final on penalties to Germany.

England faces a tricky group which includes previous winners North Korea. 

Qualification

Apart from Jordan, who qualified automatically as hosts, the fifteen countries qualified through their continental competition. The two Asian countries – Japan and North Korea – sealed their place by reaching the Final of the 2015 AFC Under-16 Women's Championship which North Korea won.

The three African countries – Cameroon, Ghana and Nigeria – all won their second Round ties in the dedicated 2015-16 CAF Under-17 Women's World Cup Qualifying Tournament.

Canada, Mexico and the USA reached the World Cup by finishing in the top three places at the 2016 CONCACAF Women's Under-17 Championship, won by the USA. Canada sealed their spot by beating Haiti 4-2 in the Third-Place Play-off.

Brazil, Paraguay and Venezuela qualified by finishing in the top three spots at the 2016 South America Under-17 Women's Football Championship. It was won by Venezuela for the second time in a row, beating Brazi in the Final 1-0.

New Zealand will be Oceania's sole representative having won the 2016 OFC U-17 Women's Championship, beating Papua New Guinea 8-0 in the final.