FIFA cancels men’s 2021 U-20, U-17 World Cups due to COVID-19 : The Bureau of the FIFA Council has decided to cancel the 2021 editions of the men’s U-20 World Cup and U-17 World Cup and gave the hosting rights to Indonesia and Peru respectively for the 2023 editions.
“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’s governing body said in a statement.
“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.
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 looks forward to continuing to work closely together with the host countries to organise successful tournaments.
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: 6 direct slots for the AFC; 4 direct slots for CAF; 4 direct slots for Concacaf; 3 direct slots for CONMEBOL; 1 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 ten-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, and 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.