ALAN VACCARO / AIPS* in ABU DHABI: With the trophy glinting in their faces, senior members of the organizing committee of the FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013 have praised the all-round high quality of the tournament.

Rafael Salguero, world federation FIFA’s organising chairman, said: “I want to thank everyone in the Emirates for the management and for how they have treated us. The way they have been working has enabled this tournament to be a great success.

“This tournament in the UAE has set a very high standard for our friends from Chile who will organize the next chapter in youth football.”

Tournament director Mohammed Bin Bdoua also expressed his satisfaction with “one of the best tournaments of the last years”.

He added: “I hope this tournament finishes with a perfect note. We don’t want to say goodbye but life is like this. I hope that in the next years we can host many other such tournaments.”

Salguero highlighted not only the organization but the superb football seen throughout the tournament.

Record scoring

He said: “The statistics show a high degree of efficiency. We are about to break the record of goals scored in the tournament. We have seen an open and happy football. We have seen a big progress in this age. Teams are more prepared than previous tournaments, and we can see from the way they move around the field.”

No formal protest has been raised about the ages of players at the finals, according to Inaki Alvarez, FIFA’s deputy director of competitions.

He said: “We didn’t receive any complaint concerning the over-age players, I repeat: We didn’t receive any complaint. If we did would have taken appropriate procedures.

” We have a very stringent process to try to guard against this. We did a lot of checks and published all the players lists so all this information was made public. We have not received any complaints of any kind from anywhere about any player formally so there was no reason not to proceed with all the matches.”


* AIPS, the international sports journalists association, is running a Young Reporters course at the FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013 with the support of the local organising committee and FIFA

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