Harry Awurumibe, Head, Abuja Bureau
Again, the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) has forced the world football ruling body, FIFA to postpone the U-17 Women’s World Cup slated for India this November.
Also postponed is the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup just as FIFA has said that new dates will be announced later.
The recommendation to postpone activities including FIFA competitions was made by FIFA’s Covid-19 working group.
A FIFA-Confederations working group, which was recently established by the FIFA Council to address the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic has unanimously approved a series of recommendations following its first meeting this Friday.
Following the meeting, it has been decided that the upcoming international matches (in the June 2020 window) and FIFA competitions, including the U17 and U-20 Women’s World Cups, will be postponed. There will also be discussions with the federations to come up with a revised schedule for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
The working group is set to continue their discussions on a regular basis as the situation evolves. An official release from FIFA read, “FIFA would like to thank the positive contributions and cooperation of all confederations’ representatives and to highlight the spirit of unity, solidarity and mutual understanding which culminated in the adoption of these decisions.
“FIFA also reiterates that health must always be the first priority and the main criteria in any decision-making process, especially in these challenging times.”
India was confirmed as the hosts for the competition back in March last year. India successfully hosted the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017 and registered a record attendance.
Meanwhile, the postponement of the two FIFA Women’s World Cup final has delayed the qualification of Nigeria’s Flamingos and Falconets for the football fiesta this year.
Flamingos had eliminated Guinea Syli Starlets 11-2 goals aggregate and were set to take on Ghana Black Maidens in Accra before the novel Coronavirus pandemic outbreak.
Falconets on their own were in Abuja camp preparing to travel to Ouagadugu to take on Burkina Faso the novel Coronavirus pandemic enveloped the world.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) have since suspended football activities in Nigeria and Africa.