The Local Organising Committee of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 (LOC) on Tuesday unveiled the official emblem for what will be the country's first international football event.
The ceremony at a hotel in Panjim, Goa was attended by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, and Chairman of the LOC and All India Football Federation (AIFF) Praful Patel.
"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 sub-continent. 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, 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.
IMAGE: Official emblem of FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017.