FIFA has decided to postponed the Women’s Under-17 World Cup 2020, in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to worsen each day. The tournament was to be held in India from November 2 to 21 and only two of the 16 teams – Japan and North Korea – have qualified so far. As hosts, India are the assured third team. Also Read - FIFA Announces New Dates For U-17 Women's World Cup in India Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar, Guwahati, Kolkata and Navi Mumbai are the five venues chosen to host the qualifiers but even though the stadiums are ready for the big stage, the organisers are worried about the crisis at hand. On Saturday, world football’s governing body took the call to reschedule the tournament, with new dates yet to be announced. Also Read - Coronavirus Crisis: Teams to Allow Five Substitutes as IFAB Accepts FIFA's Proposal
“FIFA would like to thank the positive contributions and cooperation of all confederations’ representatives and to highlight the spirit of unity, solidarity and mutual understanding which culminated in the adoption of these decisions,” a statement released by FIFA read. Also Read - German Football Legend Franz Beckenbauer's Corruption Trial Ends Without Verdict
“FIFA also reiterates that health must always be the first priority and the main criteria in any decision-making process, especially in these challenging times.”
Furthermore, all upcoming international matches (in the June 2020 window) and FIFA competitions, including the U17 and U-20 Women’s World Cups, were also pushed back. The CONCACAF Women’s U-17 Championships (scheduled for April 18-May 3), South American U-17 championships (April 15-May 3) and the Oceania U-17 Championship (April 6-19) are the three qualifying tournaments that have already been postponed.
On Friday, a meeting took place between a FIFA-Confederations working group, recently established by the FIFA council to address the consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it unanimously took the decision to move the tournament to some other dates. There will also be discussions with the federations to come up with a revised schedule for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.