The world football governing body, FIFA, on Thursday decided to cancel the 2021 editions of the men’s U-20 World Cup and U-17 World Cup, due to the impact of Covid-19.
In a statement released on its website, it said that the 2021 edition of both tournaments will be cancelled, and the next edition will be held in 2023 at the venues that were to host the 2021 of the tournament.
“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present challenges for the hosting of international sporting events and to have a restrictive effect on international travel.
FIFA has therefore regularly consulted the relevant stakeholders, including the host member associations as well as the confederations involved in both tournaments originally scheduled to take place in 2021,” the football governing body said in a statement.
Update on FIFA Women’s World Cup™ and men’s youth competitions: https://t.co/tC2HvQpfxA
— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) December 24, 2020
“In doing so, it became clear that the global situation has failed to normalise to a sufficient level to address the challenges associated with hosting both tournaments, including the feasibility of the relevant qualification pathways,” it added.
The men’s U-20 World Cup was to be hosted in Indonesia while the U-17 World Cup was to be hosted in Peru.
FIFA extended its gratitude to the host member associations as well as the authorities in Indonesia and Peru for their commitment and the tournament preparations made so far.
FIFA decides slots for Women’s World Cup
Following the amazing success of the 2019 edition, the decision was taken last year to expand the FIFA Women’s World Cup to 32 teams and thus continue to foster the growth of women’s football.
FIFA has since worked closely with the confederations to formulate a proposal for the allocation of slots and the Bureau of the FIFA Council has confirmed the following berths for the 2023 edition: six direct slots for the AFC; four direct slots for CAF; four direct slots for Concacaf; three direct slots for CONMEBOL; one direct slot for the OFC; and 11 direct slots for UEFA.
The two host countries, Australia and New Zealand will automatically qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 and their slots have been taken directly from the quotas allocated to their confederations, namely the AFC and the OFC respectively.
The three remaining slots will be decided through a 10-team play-off tournament.
The play-off tournament will be used as a test event in Australia and New Zealand for the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Both hosts will be invited to participate in friendly matches against the teams in Group 1 and Group 2, thereby ensuring that all teams play two matches during the play-off tournament.