The FIFA U-17 World Cup is the world championship of association football for male players under the age of 17 organized by Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). it was founded as the FIFA U-16 World Championship in 1985 and later changed to the FIFA U-17 World Championship and known by its current name since 2007.
This Championship was inaugurated in 1985 and tournament have been played every two years since then. It began as a competition for players under the age of 16 with the age limit raised to 17 from the 1991 edition onwards. Brazil and Nigeria are the most successful nations in the tournament’s history, with three wins each. Ghana has won the tournament twice.
Each tournament consists of a group phase, where four teams play against one another and standings in the group table decide which teams advance, followed by a knockout phase of successive matches where the winning team advances through the competition and the losing team is eliminated. This continues until two teams remain to contest the final, which decides the tournament winner. The losing semi-finalists also contest a match to decide third place.
From 1985 to 2005 there were 16 teams in the competition, divided into four groups of four teams each in the group phase. Each team played the others in its group and the group winner and runner up qualified for the knockout phase. From 2007 the tournament was expanded to 24 teams, divided into six groups of four teams each. The top 2 places in each group plus the four best third-placed teams advanced to the knockout phase.
Competition matches are played in two 45 minute halves (ie 90 minutes in total). In the knockout phase, if the scores are level at the end of 90 minutes an additional 30 minutes of extra time is played. If the scores are still level at the end of extra time, a penalty shoot-out is used to decide the match winner.
Nigeria and Brasil are the teo most succesful teams in the tournament’s history with wins in 1985, 1993, 2007 and 1997, 1999, 2003 respectively. Ghana won the tournament twice; once in 1991 and the other in 1995
A corresponding tournament for female players, the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, began in 2008, with Korea DPR winning the inaugural tournament.