The Uganda U17 Women’s National Team was supposed to play against Cameroon in the final qualification match to determine the teams that would represent Africa.
However, Uganda’s dream of qualifying to a football world cup tournament for the first time will have to wait longer as the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) on Tuesday announced that both the U17 and U20 Women’s world cup will not take place as earlier scheduled due to the current global Covid-19 pandemic situation.
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 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 said in a statement on its website.
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.
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.
“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.”
“FIFA would like to express its gratitude to the host member associations, as well as the authorities in Qatar, Costa Rica, Panama and India, for their commitment and the tournament preparations made so far. FIFA looks forward to continuing to work closely together with the host countries to organise successful tournaments.”
In a similar development, the FIFA Club World Cup which was scheduled to be hosted in Qatar has been postponed to early 2021.
“The FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020, which was originally scheduled for December, has been subject to the disruptive effect of the pandemic on the confederations’ continental club championships that serve as a pathway for the event.” part of the statement from the FIFA website read.
“As a result, the FIFA Club World Cup 2020 will now be held from 1st to 11th February 2021, taking place in Qatar as per the original host appointment by the FIFA Council in June 2019.”
“In line with FIFA’s International Match Protocol, FIFA and the host country will provide the required safeguards for the health and safety of all involved.”
FIFA, together with the host member associations, confederations and key stakeholders, will continue to monitor the situation concerning the pandemic globally, as well as any potential impact on preparations for and the future hosting of FIFA tournaments.