The tournament is scheduled to be played between February and March 2021.
The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, originally supposed to be held in India in November this year and rescheduled to February-March 2021, is likely to be postponed further, as per reports from various sources.
The Times of India have reported that the qualifying tournaments for the World Cup are yet to be held in Africa, North America, Central America and South America, as the global pandemic of COVID-19 shows no sign of subsiding anytime soon. This has led to speculation that the tournament will be postponed yet again.
“There is a high possibility that the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup will be postponed again. The new time frame when the tournament will be held is yet not known. But, most probably it is getting postponed,” a source close to the developments told PTI on condition of anonymity, on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) General Secretary Kushal Das told PTI that there is “no official update” on the matter as of right now. However, when he was specifically asked about the possibility of the postponement of the tournament, he said, ‘It can be (postponed)’ again in light of the current situation.
The AIFF had also planned to start the national camp early in October, but it may not happen if the tournament is postponed. The Indian team’s head coach Thomas Dennerby is still in Sweden after leaving India in March, while the players have been without any outdoor training since returning to their respective homes after the first announcement of the nationwide lockdown in March.
The upcoming edition of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup was earlier supposed to be held across five venues in India in from November 2 to 21, 2020. A few weeks ago, it was pushed forward for February 17 to March 7, 2021 due to COVID-19. Less than five months now remain before the above date arrives, but the confederations of Africa (CAF), North and Central America (CONCACAF) and South America (CONMEBOL) are yet to hold their qualifiers.
Europe (UEFA) recently cancelled its qualifying tournament last month and nominated Spain, England and Germany — the highest-ranked teams from the continent to participate. The confederation of Oceania (OFA) followed suit, nominating New Zealand as its representative in the tournament. Only Asia (AFC) have been able to conduct the qualifiers as scheduled. Japan and North Korea qualified after emerging champions and runners-up respectively in the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship 2019.