THE LONG AWAITED FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup, which had to be postponed from its original schedule due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, has a new date.
The Local Organizing Committee of the event announced today that the competition will now be held early next year; a time they anticipate to be much more suited for international travel and the operation of high volume of organizing apparatus that's required for a tournament of this scale than its original timeframe.
The statement read,
"Following today’s announcement by FIFA, the AIFF and LOC are pleased with the confirmation of the new dates for FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2020™ï¸, which will now be held between 17 February and 7 March 2021. The dates were confirmed after taking into account the time needed to complete the UEFA, CONCACAF, CAF, OFC, and CONMEBOL qualification tournaments as well as the best possible conditions in the country to host a successful FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.
We are now looking ahead and hoping to host a wonderful tournament that will give women’s football in India, the perfect platform to grow and develop.
All the host cities have put in a lot of effort and commitment so far, and we are happy that the new dates will allow them to make up for the lost time and provide momentum going forward. All the stakeholders, including the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, have been supportive of the decision keeping in mind the health, safety and security of everyone involved, especially the teams and fans. The LOC will continue to work together with FIFA, and we remain fully committed to hosting a memorable and successful tournament."
The 2017 edition of FIFA U-17 World Cup was held in India and the tournament was considered a major success with a record number of spectators showing up to experience the matches. This encouraged FIFA to grant AIFF's request to host the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup, which will mark India's second appearance ever in the main tournament of a FIFA world championship.
The tournament will maintain its original criteria for player participation - i.e. those born between 1st January 2013 and 31st December 2015 - which allows the existing members of the national teams who have been specifically groomed for this tournament to have a chance of showcasing their skills despite the competition being delayed.