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FIFA cancels U-17 Women's World Cup 2020, India to now host event in 2022
New Delhi, November 17, 2020
FIFA, the international governing body for football, today announced that the 2020 editions of the FIFA U-17 and U-20 Women's World Cups would be cancelled and that the hosting rights for the 2022 editions would be transferred to the countries that were named as the hosts of the tournaments this year.
This means that India, which was named as the host of the U-17 Women's World Cup 2020, will now host the 2022 edition of the tournament.
The decision has been taken because of the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which had earlier forced FIFA to postpone the 2020 edition of the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup to February-March 2021.
"Following due consideration of the situation and taking into account the input of all stakeholders, the FIFA-Confederations COVID-19 Working Group has recommended that the 2020 edition of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup (and FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup) be cancelled and that the hosting rights for the 2022 editions be transferred to the countries that were initially planned to host the 2020 edition," FIFA said.
The Bureau of the Council has decided to appoint India as the host of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022, it added.
In a separate statement, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) said that, after the FIFA decision to award India the hosting rights for the U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2019, football had received a boost, and the profile of the women’s game has been raised in the country.
"It is our objective to encourage more girls to take up football and celebrate the game with pride. This development will continue with the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup now scheduled to be hosted in India in 2022.
"It is unfortunate that the tournament will not take place in 2021 as the global situation has failed to normalise to a sufficient level to address the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, future tournaments will benefit from the work put in and progress made so far including the development of eight new training sites in Ahmedabad and Bhubaneswar, and renovation of the Kalinga Stadium.
"We’re thankful to our Host Cities, the five state governments, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, FIFA and fans who continue to support us throughout this journey.
"This is a pause, and we will continue all the initiatives that were planned for the development and promotion of women’s football. We now look forward to an exciting 2022 with India hosting not one but two international women’s tournaments," the statement added.
AIIF President and LOC Chairman Praful Patel said, “In light of not being able to host the tournament next year, FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup taking place in India in 2022 comes as a delightful silver lining. Following discussions with FIFA, we agreed that hosting the tournament without proper qualifications and without spectators led to more uncertainty, and it would have taken away from our objective of developing and promoting women’s football by hosting the competition in such circumstances.
"We now have a unique opportunity to start afresh and still have a considerable headstart from the work that has been already put in. We thank FIFA for its support so far and now eagerly look forward to 2022.
"The journey we have made so far has given our women footballers confidence to compete at the highest level, and we are committed to steering women’s football in the right direction to ensure it achieves the heights it deserves," he added.