FIFA cancels U-17 Women’s WC, India to host 2022 edition

FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2021 logo

MUMBAI: This is a development that comes as no surprise. FIFA announced Tuesday that the U-17 Women’s World Cup, which India was scheduled to host in early 2021, stands cancelled "in light of the current global COVID-19 pandemic". Further, football's world governing body confirmed India as host of the 2022 edition of the women’s youth tournament.

For the record, it was on 12 May that FIFA announced that the already rescheduled tournament would be held between 17 February and 7 March 2021, subject to further monitoring.

Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar, Guwahati, Kolkata, and Navi Mumbai were the five cities selected to host the 16 teams that would have competed across 32 matches, with the finals to have taken place in Navi Mumbai.

FIFA stated: "Since the previous decision earlier this year to reschedule both tournaments to early 2021, FIFA has been consulting with all stakeholders – including the host member associations, participating member associations and confederations – to continuously monitor the situation in relation to the pandemic, in particular with regard to any potential impact on the overall welfare and safety of age-group players and participants.

"As part of this extensive consultation process and the “health and safety first” approach FIFA has taken, further major concerns in several areas were also raised by stakeholders during this process in relation to the hosting of age-group tournaments scheduled for 2020.

"These concerns included, amongst others, challenges around preparation time for age-group teams, and the numerous obstacles to finalising the continental qualification tournaments due to the pandemic.

"As a result and after careful consideration of the feedback received by the stakeholders combined with the inability to further postpone these tournaments, the FIFA-Confederations COVID-19 Working Group subsequently recommended that the 2020 editions of the two women’s youth tournaments be cancelled and that the hosting rights for the 2022 editions be offered to the countries that were due to host the 2020 editions.

"In light of this, and following further consultation between FIFA and the respective host member associations regarding the 2022 editions of the tournaments, the Bureau of the Council has approved Costa Rica as host of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2022 and India as host of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022 respectively.

"FIFA would like to express its gratitude to the host member associations, as well as the authorities in Qatar, Costa Rica, Panama and India, for their commitment and the tournament preparations made so far. FIFA looks forward to continuing to work closely together with the host countries to organise successful tournaments.

"FIFA, together with the host member associations, confederations and key stakeholders, will continue to monitor the situation concerning the pandemic globally, as well as any potential impact on preparations for and the future hosting of FIFA tournaments."

FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020
The FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020, which was originally scheduled for December, has been subject to the disruptive effect of the pandemic on the confederations’ continental club championships that serve as a pathway for the event.

The introduction of strict return-to-play protocols has facilitated a successful resumption of continental club championships the last of which is now scheduled to conclude by the end of January 2021.

As a result, the FIFA Club World Cup 2020 will now be held from 1 to 11 February 2021, taking place in Qatar as per the original host appointment by the FIFA Council in June 2019.

In line with FIFA’s International Match Protocol, FIFA and the host country will provide the required safeguards for the health and safety of all involved.

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