The U-17 Women’s FIFA World Cup is scheduled to commence on the 17th of February 2021. The likelihood of this happening though is dependent on how the corona virus is controlled in the next few months. Furthermore, whether vaccines and cures are available to the public by then. The virus has resulted in air travel being highly restricted and in certain countries, where lockdowns have been implemented, air travel is completely banned.
This creates multiple problems regarding whether travelling will be allowed and if international fans will be able to attend the stadiums or not. With little to no fans in the stadium it will lead to ticket sales, food and beverage and merchandise complications. In addition, it will result in the overall failure of reaching the financial goals set by the FIFA committee.
Furthermore, the more important question that needs to be answered is if the competition is postponed by another 6 months, or longer, how will the ages be taken into consideration. As well as, will the original chosen squads still be used? If this does happen then several players will be older than 17 years and, therefore, defeats the whole purpose of a U-17 World Cup. Will younger players have to be chosen in order to fulfil the goal of the World Cup, which is to see who is the the best u17 female football national squad?
The countries who are currently qualified are Germany, Spain, England, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea. The CAF (African teams) and the CONCAF (North and South American teams) qualifiers still have to be completed in order to see which teams will qualify. With the current Covid 19 situation and each country being affectedly differently by the virus, the likelihood that these qualifiers will be completed by the end of Dec is not realistic. These qualifiers have been postponed until further notice as each country is struggling differently with the Corona Virus. Even if the qualifiers are completed, the preparation times for the recently qualified teams will be too short and leave them at an unfair disadvantage.
Therefore, the chances for another postponement to occur is high because of the short amount of time for the qualifying countries. How long the postponement will be remains unclear and whether the tournament will even take place is unknown.
One of the favourites going into this tournament is New Zealand. Recently, according to oceaniafootball.com, the u17 Fern squad have been training since October allowing them to start their preparations for the World Cup which is scheduled for February 2021. However, the players have been training privately and earlier in the year, during their lockdown, the players created a trickshot video showing their skills and eagerness to get back to playing football.
We at Evytal eagerly await to hear what will happen with the U-17 Women’s FIFA World Cup and whether a postponement will be announced. We wish the athletes all the best for the upcoming tournament and will be watching with eagerness to identify and appreciate top footballing talent.