FIFA Under-17 World Cup kicks off in Abu Dhabi

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The finals of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup kicked off on Thursday in Abu Dhabi, reported Gulf News.

As part of the lead up to the finals, a conference was held to confirm that preparations for the sporting event were complete.

“I thank all the members of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC), FIFA, and all those who helped us to complete our preparations to host a successful event. I am also grateful for FIFA members who worked with us during the past period in our quest to achieve a new organizing success for our country,” said Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak al-Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development and Chairman of the LOC on Wednesday.

“I am pleased to confirm that all preparations have finished to host the finals. Wishing the best of luck to all the teams and a comfortable stay to our guests.”

In a statement, Nahyan emphasized the importance of the event to the international football body, FIFA.

“This competition is very important to FIFA because it represents the future of world football. Everything is prepared to help achieve total success on and off the field and we are sure that the UAE will once again achieve success as they did in the past FIFA championships they organized.”

Teams from 24 countries are in the UAE for the sporting event, striving to achieve glory and take the first step towards possibly becoming the next Ronaldo.

The Arab world last saw success in the Under-17 World Cup in 1995, when Oman’s Mohammad al-Kathiri won the title of “best player” in Ecuador.