Uganda U17 players celebrate one of the goals (Photo by Steven Mayamba)

Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) has on Tuesday confirmed that two of it’s Women’s Youth Competitions will not take place as earlier scheduled.

The 2020 FIFA U17 and U20 Women’s World Cup tournaments have been called off due to the impact of COVID-19 on football events.

“In light of the current global COVID-19 pandemic and its continuing impact on football, the Bureau of the FIFA Council has taken a number of decisions related to FIFA competitions, including the FIFA Club World Cup 2020 as well as the women’s youth tournaments planned for 2020.” Reads a statement on the FIFA Website.

The FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup was initially supposed to be hosted in India in November this year, but with the outbreak of COVID-19, FIFA decided to push it to February next year.

However, India communicated that they would not be able to host the aforementioned tournament because of the spread of COVID-19.

It is upon this background that FIFA after a thorough study has decided to cancel the tournament.

“Since the previous decision earlier this year to reschedule both tournaments to early 2021, FIFA has been consulting with all stakeholders – including the host member associations, participating member associations and confederations – to continuously monitor the situation in relation to the pandemic, in particular with regard to any potential impact on the overall welfare and safety of age-group players and participants.” 

“As part of this extensive consultation process and the “health and safety first” approach FIFA has taken, further major concerns in several areas were also raised by stakeholders during this process in relation to the hosting of age-group tournaments scheduled for 2020.”

FIFA has instead indicated that tournaments will be hosted in 2022 with Costa Rica & Panama and India maintained as the hosts for U20 and U17 Women’s World Cup tournaments respectively.

“These concerns included, amongst others, challenges around preparation time for age-group teams, and the numerous obstacles to finalising the continental qualification tournaments due to the pandemic. As a result and after careful consideration of the feedback received by the stakeholders combined with the inability to further postpone these tournaments, the FIFA-Confederations COVID-19 Working Group subsequently recommended that the 2020 editions of the two women’s youth tournaments be cancelled and that the hosting rights for the 2022 editions be offered to the countries that were due to host the 2020 editions.”

“In light of this, and following further consultation between FIFA and the respective host member associations regarding the 2022 editions of the tournaments, the Bureau of the Council has approved Costa Rica as host of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2022 and India as host of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022 respectively.”

Therefore, Uganda’s dream of qualifying to the World Cup (football) for the first time will have to wait.

The Uganda U17 Women’s National Team was supposed to play against Cameroon in the final hurdle to determine the teams that would represent Africa.

Joel Muyita

Joel Muyita is a senior staff writer at Kawowo Sports.

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