The official draw for the upcoming FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2014, in Costa Rica, took place in San José Tuesday evening at the Antigua Aduana. Host Costa Rica will face Venezuela at the National Stadium on March 15 at 8 p.m.
“Las Ticas” also will play Italy on March 18 and Zambia on March 22 in the first round.
The tournament will take place at four stadiums in San José, Alajuela and Guanacaste from March 15-April 4, 2014.
Costa Rican model Leonora Jiménez hosted the draw, which featured art, mascaradas (giant masked figures) and typical Costa Rican music and dancing.
Eduardo Li, president of the local organizing committee and the Costa Rican Football Federation, welcomed visiting delegations and the public before recapping the work done to organize the tournament.
President Laura Chinchilla also attended the ceremony and highlighted the “remarkable enthusiasm and commitment of everyone involved in preparing to host this World Cup.”
Chinchilla also had a few words for qualifying teams, encouraging them to strive hard in their battle to claim the coveted trophy.
Referring to the draw, Costa Rican coach Juan Diego Quesada said, “On paper it looks like a group we could emerge from, but we’ll need to treat every game as if it’s our last. Our priority is still to make it past the first round, and this squad is equipped to do that.”
Tico National Team player Yeltsin Tejeda, former player Mauricio Montero, singer Tamela Hedstrom, and Marianela Valverde, one of the pioneers of Costa Rican women’s football, were on hand to help Tatjana Haenni, FIFA’s Head of Women’s Competitions, by drawing team balls from the pots.
The standout section is arguably Group B, which pits the 2012 runners-up North Korea – champions of the inaugural edition in 2008 – against Germany, Ghana and Canada.
Costa Rica 2014 – Groups: