AIFF working with FIFA to finalise new dates, says Praful Patel

Updated: Apr 11, 2020, 15:04 IST | PTI | New Delhi

The Under-17 Women's World Cup, which was scheduled to be held in India in November, was postponed by football's governing body (FIFA) last week due to the worsening of the COVID-19 pandemic across the globe.

Praful Patel
Praful Patel

All India Football Federation is in discussion with world body FIFA to retain the original age criteria of the participating players and finalise new dates for the U-17 Women's World Cup, AIFF president Praful Patel said on Friday. The Under-17 Women's World Cup, which was scheduled to be held in India in November, was postponed by football's governing body (FIFA) last week due to the worsening of the COVID-19 pandemic across the globe.

Patel said the Local Organising Committee (LOC) is working in close collaboration with FIFA to finalise the dates in the "earliest possible timeline". "I am happy to share that we are working with #FIFA to choose a new and earliest possible timeline to host the U-17 Women's World Cup. The LOC and FIFA are working in close collaboration to finalise new dates keeping health and safety a priority," Patel wrote on his Twitter handle.

"We are also in discussions with #FIFA to keep the age criteria of U-17 Women's World Cup the same as originally planned, so that all the players who have been working very hard to prepare for the tournament, do not miss an opportunity to play due to the postponement," Patel added.

The women's age group showpiece event was to be held at five venues in the country --Kolkata, Guwahati, Bhubaneswar, Ahmedabad and Navi Mumbai -- from November 2-21. The tournament was to be competed among 16 teams, with hosts India being automatic qualifiers. It was to be India's maiden appearance in the U-17 Women's World Cup.

The coronavirus pandemic, which has killed over 95,000 people globally, has brought all sporting activities to a halt. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics too has been postponed to next year.

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