The AIFF President has assured that AIFF will persevere to ensure that women’s football in India achieves greater heights…
The AIFF (All India Football Federation) President Praful Patel took to social media to assure fans that the federation remains committed to promote women’s football in the country in the aftermath of FIFA’s announcement that the 2021 U-17 Women’s World Cup, which was scheduled to be held in India, has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
India was appointed as the host by the FIFA Council meeting at Miami on 15 March 2019. But after taking stock of the pandemic situation, the governing body for the sport decided to scrap the event in its entirety. The 2020 U20 Women’s World Cup has also been cancelled along with the U17 edition.
It must be noted that India will also host the Women’s Asian Cup in 2022 as well.
“In light of not being able to host the tournament next year, FIFA U17WWC taking place in India in 2022 comes as a delightful silver lining. We now have a unique opportunity to start afresh and still have a considerable headstart from the work that has been already put in.
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“Following discussions with FIFA, we agreed that hosting the tournament without proper qualifications & without spectators led to more uncertainty and it would have taken away from our objective of developing & promoting women’s football by hosting the U17WWC in such circumstances.
“We thank FIFA for its support 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 greater heights,” stated the Member of Rajya Sabha.
In light of not being able to host the tournament next year, FIFA #U17WWC taking place in #India in 2022 comes as a delightful silver lining. We now have a unique opportunity to start afresh & still have a considerable headstart from the work that has been already put in. pic.twitter.com/fu5P7xoVGk
— Praful Patel (@praful_patel) November 17, 2020
FIFA asserted that the decision to cancel the event was taken after the various stakeholders decided to take a ‘health and safety first’ approach.
“Since the previous decision earlier this year to reschedule both tournaments to early 2021, FIFA has been consulting with all stakeholders. 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,” FIFA stated in their release.
It must be noted that the CAF (Africa), CONCACAF (North and Central America) and CONMEBOL (South America) qualifiers had not been conducted while UEFA (Europe) cancelled their qualifiers outright earlier this year, nominating Spain, England and Germany (as the highest-ranked teams) for the World Cup.
India will now host the 2022 U17 Women’s World Cup while Costa Rica will get the chance to host the 2022 U19 Women’s World Cup.