Hosts India have been handed a tough yet exciting draw for the group stages of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup it will host in October 2022 as Thomas Dennerby’s side have been placed alongside USA, Brazil and Morocco in Group A.

The draw took place on Friday at FIFA headquarters in Nyon Switzerland for the tournament that will run from October 11-30.

India will have its task cut out in Group A as they come up against seasoned campaigners in USA and Brazil.

USA have appeared in five FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cups so far finishing runners-up in 2008. Brazil on the other hand will make a sixth appearance at the finals having twice reached the quarter-final stage in the past.

Morocco like India will make their debut in the 2022 edition but will be formidable competitors having won the African qualification tournament.

“It's a very exciting group for us. Playing against the USA and Brazil will be extremely tough as they are among the best teams in the world. Even Morocco are a very strong team from Africa. It's a tough group, but we have to be prepared and hope to give a good fight in every game,” India head coach Dennerby expressed.

“But we also have three and a half months to prepare. So we need to work very hard every day in our training sessions. When you are playing in a World Cup, you need to aim to take points and qualify for the quarterfinals. If we can manage that, it will be sensational,” he added.

Reacting to the draw, FIFA president Gianni Infantino expects matches against USA and Brazil to generate interest in football among young girls in India.

“This draw not only marks an important milestone for India as a host nation but also for the global football community as we continue to return to normal after the global pandemic. This tournament is now able to take place securely, is a testament to the hard work of all those who were able to make this tournament possible,” said Infantino.

“As a direct result of this tournament, a new generation of young women will be inspired to follow the footsteps of those they see playing in the tournament and will be created,” he continued. “We saw in 2017 when India hosted a record-breaking edition of the FIFA U-17 Men’s World Cup, and in 2022 I am certain we will see that again. Such an impact will always last long after the final ball is kicked,” he added.

India begin their campaign on the opening day against USA on October 11, followed by matches against Morocco and Brazil on October 14, and October 17, 2022 respectively. All of India’s matches in the group stage kick-off at IST 8pm at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.