Football: New Zealand qualify for FIFA Women’s U-17 World Cup in India

New Zealand became the fourth country to qualify for the FIFA Women’s U-17 World Cup to be held in India next year after being nominated as the sole representative of the Oceania region.

New Zealand joins Asian qualifiers Japan and North Korea, besides India who got an automatic berth as host country in the 16-team age-group showpiece to be held in five venues of the country from February 17 to March 7.

The decision to nominate New Zealand was taken by the Executive Committee of Oceania Football Confederation after the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of the OFC U-17 Women’s Championship, which was to take place in April.

New Zealand have competed in all six previous FIFA Women’s U-17 World Cups and won a bronze in 2018 in Uruguay. They host the inaugural edition in 2008.

The tournament was to be held from November 2-21 but postponed to next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The four other confederations of Africa, Europe, South America and CONCACAF (Central, North America and Caribbean) are yet to hold their qualifying tournaments in view of the global health crisis and expected to do so by this year.

Three teams each will qualify from these four confederations.