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FIFA Under 17 Soccer World Champs Here

Auckland City Council - City Scene

Between November 10 and 27, New Zealand is hosting one of the most important international sports tournaments ever to come to this country. The FIFA under 17 world championships featuring teams from 16 countries will be played in Auckland, Napier, Christchurch and Dunedin.

Group A teams will be played at the North Harbour Stadium, and will feature matches between Poland, Uruguay, United States and New Zealand.

One quarter final match will be played at each venue, with semi finals at Auckland and Christchurch. The grand final, and the play-offs for 3rd and 4th, will be held at North Harbour Stadium on November 27.

In recent years the Under 17 championship has been a springboard to greatness for several of the world's leading players.

While the matches are being played in North Shore City, Auckland will host officials and delegations from participating countries.

The World President of FIFA, Switzerland's Joseph Blatter will attend the later stages of the tournament. The international office of FIFA, normally in Switzerland, will re-locate to Auckland for the duration of the tournament.

The World President of FIFA is probably the world's most influential international sporting figure, ranking alongside the President of the International Olympic Committee.

Auckland's mayor, Chris Fletcher has played her part in the pre-tournament lead-up, by conducting the team draw.

The mayor is looking forward to the international tournament this month, and says she hopes that Auckland matches will attract big crowds to watch some of the budding super stars of world soccer in action.

"I am especially pleased that New Zealand will be playing its games in Auckland. Our team last played in this tournament in 1997 when the event was held in Egypt."

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