FIFA U17 World Cup Mascot 2017 is the full details of the tournament’s mascot “Kheleo”, its origin and the full answer of why the hosting nation India chose a clouded leopard as the mascot of the tournament.
The mascot is the symbol of any big sports tournament that represents the grandeur, ethics and the value of the competition. The host of the sports tournament plays a major role in selecting mascot and they try their best to show their culture and heritage through their designed mascot. Like any other big sports tournament, FIFA U17 World Cup Mascot also represents the event in a unique way to the global audience. The world has witnessed some amazing and creative mascots of the under17 football world cup since its inception in 1985. And this year too, the hosting country of u17 world cup India also comes up with a unique mascot which will definitely remain in the heart of every football fans. So without creating further suspense, here goes the full detail of FIFA U17 World Cup Mascot 2017.
FIFA U17 World Cup Mascot 2017
The hosting bid for FIFA U17 World Cup 2017 was submitted to FIFA long before on 15th November 2013 by Azerbaijan, India, Ireland and Uzbekistan. In their Executive Committee meeting in Brazil, FIFA revealed that India will host the U17 World Cup 2017 on 5th December 2013. Since then India started a massive preparation to host the first ever FIFA tournament in the country. The group stage draw was held at the Hotel Sahara Star in Mumbai on 7th July 2017 where two FIFA U17 World Cup winners Esteban Cambiasso and Nwankwo Kanu have also participated. It is already declared that the 2017 edition of the U17 world cup will start from 6th October 2017 and will be held across the stadiums in Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, Kochi, Guwahati and Goa. Surprisingly, after the successful bid to host the FIFA U17 World Cup in 2017, India is now already hinted at a possible FIFA U-20 World Cup bid as well.
The official FIFA U17 World Cup Mascot 2017 was revealed on 10th February 2017 at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium just 238 days before the main event starts. Honourable guests Vijay Goel (Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports – India) and Praful Patel (Chairman of the Local Organising Committee) revealed a clouded leopard called Kheleo as the FIFA U17 World Cup Mascot 2017 to the fans and media representatives. While talking about Kheleo, Vijay Goel said “We are sure that he will be one of the most memorable mascots a sporting event in India has ever seen. Kheleo is young, vibrant, enthusiastic and a perfect representation of our country. He will help us to involve kids with football in a fun way.”
The U17 World Cup 2017 Mascot Kheleo is actually a clouded leopard which is a vulnerable wild cat found in a territory from the foothills of Himalaya to mainland Southeast Asia, and is the state animal of the Indian state of Meghalaya. This endangered species was chosen as the mascot to create a worldwide awareness about the rapid decline of the clouded leopard’s number. The total population of this leopard has come down to less than 10,000 mature individuals due to the illegal poaching throughout its territory. India, through this mascot, is trying to save the animal from a complete extinction.
Kheleo is scheduled to participate in numerous events as the promotion of the FIFA U17 World Cup 2017 till the opening ceremony. While talking about Kheleo during the official mascot revealing ceremony, Praful Patel said “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.”
Keep your eyes on the FIFA U17 World Cup starting from 6th October 2017 cause who knows if you can see a glimpse of future Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi! And don’t forget to send us your opinion about the FIFA U17 World Cup Mascot 2017 in the comment box below.