The country was originally awarded the hosting rights for the 2020 edition of the tournament.

The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022 will be held in India from October 11 to 30, the FIFA Council announced on Thursday.

FIFA have also clarified that the Women’s World Cup 2023 in Australia and New Zealand will happen from July 20 – August 20. Additionally, the new playoff tournament for the event will take place earlier that year, between February 17 and February 23. The FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2022 will happen in Costa Rica between August 10-22, while a 14-team playoff for the FIFA Arab Cup 2021 will take place from June 19-25, 2021.

Official statements

“Meeting by videoconference on the eve of the 71st FIFA Congress, the FIFA Council approved key dates for the international match calendars. The Council has approved dates for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India – October 11 to 30, 2022,” the sport’s international governing body said in a statement.

Speaking about the announcement, AIFF General Secretary, Mr Kushal Das said, “The announcement of the dates for U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2022—11th to 30th October—marks a fresh beginning for the tournament. The LOC is carrying on the work that had already begun with the previous edition. As the Covid-19 situation improves, we look forward to restarting all the legacy activities that have been planned, and to the growth of women’s football through this tournament.”

What happened so far

FIFA had originally awarded India the hosting rights for the 2020 edition of the tournament. However, the sudden outbreak of COVID-19 on a global scale forced a change of plans. The governing body initially decided to postpone it to 2021, before cancelling it altogether a few months later. In November 2020, FIFA announced India as the host for the U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022, as a compensatory gesture.

“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,” Praful Patel, President of the All India Football Federation (AIFF), had reacted to the development back then.

“Following discussions with FIFA, we agreed that hosting the tournament without proper qualification 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,” he further added.

“We now have a unique opportunity to start afresh and still have a considerable head-start from the work that we have already put in. We thank FIFA for its support so far and now eagerly look forward to 2022. Our journey so far has given our women footballers confidence to compete at the highest level. Additionally, we are also keen to steer women’s football in the right direction to ensure it achieves the heights it deserves.”

2022 is going be an eventful year for women’s football in the country, as India will be hosting the AFC Women’s Asian Cup that year in addition to the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

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