COVID-19 forces FIFA to postpone the Women’s U-17 World Cup in India

India hosted the U-17 Men’s Football World Cup in 2018 but will have to wait longer to host the women.

The 7th Edition of the U-17 Women’s World Cup has officially been postponed. Having taken the current global crisis into consideration, FIFA in consultation with the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and Local Organizing Committee (LOC) took the call to reschedule the event. No new dates have been announced yet.

A prompt and early decision could be attributed to the mass devastation already caused and lack of clarity over when the disease would completely diffuse.

The tournament was set to be played across five venues: Indira Gandhi Stadium in Guwahati, Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (Salt Lake) stadium in Kolkata, EKA Arena in Ahmedabad and the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.

The 16-team tournament opener would have ordinarily taken place on November 2nd, 2020 in Guwahati while the final would have been played out at Navi Mumbai on November 21st.

Here’s the statement by the AIFF regarding the matter:

The All India Football Federation and Local Organising Committee are supportive of the decision by FIFA to postpone FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. We agree that this has been made with the highest regard for public health, and the participating teams, host cities, staff and visiting fans, and keeps the best interests of everyone in mind. We were, of course, looking forward to hosting the Tournament in November this year, but at the same time, we are mindful of all those around the world and in our country potentially impacted by our decisions. For us at the moment, the primary concern is the health and wellbeing of every stakeholder involved in the Tournament. We don’t want to take any risk that is detrimental to our community before it is clear that there is no threat to people’s health due to this pandemic.

The LOC and AIFF will work with FIFA to determine the most suitable dates for the Tournament. We look forward to hosting a successful Tournament in the near future.

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