In a ceremony attended by India’s Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Vijay Goel, and the chairman of the Local Organising Committee, Praful Patel, the young and charismatic face of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, a clouded leopard called Kheleo, was introduced to hundreds of fans and media representatives.
The clouded leopard is a vulnerable wild cat whose habitat extends from the Himalayan foothills to mainland Southeast Asia.
Citing the Official Mascot as a major component of the overall event brand that will represent the tournament and the host country, Mr Patel added: “Presenting Kheleo as the Official Mascot to the world is another big step for our event. As the face of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, he will be going across the country to promote the tournament and to inspire kids and adults alike.”
Kheleo will participate in numerous activities in the run-up to the first FIFA tournament to be hosted by India, which will be played from 6 to 28 October 2017. For further details about the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, please visit our website on FIFA.com.
Official Emblem launched for FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017.
27.09.2016: AIFF PRESS RELEASE : The Local Organising Committee of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 (LOC) unveiled the official emblem for what will be the country’s first international football event. The ceremony at Goa’s Marriott Hotel was attended by Gianni Infantino, President of FIFA, and Praful Patel, Chairman of the LOC and of the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
“It is clear for all to see how football has already been making huge strides in India”, said FIFA President Gianni Infantino. “But there is still an enormous room for growth, and the FIFA U-17 World Cup can be an ideal catalyst to develop the sport even further and across the whole country. This is an exceptional opportunity to converge two of FIFA’s core missions: to organise tournaments and to promote football development.”
Fittingly launched during the AFC U16 Championships, which are the first set of qualifiers for next year’s tournament, the emblem of the first ever FIFA Tournament in India was designed as a celebration of the country’s rich and diverse culture, with its main elements being the Indian Ocean, the banyan tree, the kite and the starburst, which is an interpretation of the Ashoka Chakra, an integral part of the national identity.
Each of the aforementioned has been selected for its deep significance in the culture of the country. The Indian Ocean that serves as a base of the Emblem is an integral part of the Subcontinent. The banyan tree is the national tree of India, deeply rooted in the culture and ethos of the country and under which rural communities traditionally gather to take all major decisions in its shade. The kite is the symbol of freedom and fun. Popular across the country, it represents the soaring aspirations of India´s young and vibrant democracy. Finally, the starburst that sits on the top of the Emblem brings the feeling of festivity and celebration, representing all the festivals that grace this multicultural country and making a statement that the FIFA U-17 World Cup will be the new festival in all the calendars.
Shaped like the World Cup trophy, the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 emblem combines the global look of the beautiful game with a quintessentially Indian feel. It represents what the tournament stands for. Talking about the launch, Patel said, “This is a historic occasion for India and the AIFF. Hosting our first FIFA World Cup will change forever the way football is seen in our country.”
Tournament Director of the LOC, Javier Ceppi added, “This is a very important landmark for our Event, as now we have a very distinct image. With the Emblem Launch we will go out to the masses and make sure that the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 is seen across the nation as another festival in our calendar of celebrations, the festival of football. We really have to make this fantastic opportunity count.” The FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 will happen in six venues across the country during the month of October 2017.