The Fifa U-17 Women’s World Cup to be held in India in 2020, which was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, will now take place next year from February 17-March 7 next year, the governing body announced on Tuesday.

Fifa has also decided that the age eligibility criteria for players will remain the same despite the tournament being postponed.

The U-17 Women’s World Cup was set to be held at five venues in India – Kolkata, Guwahati, Bhubaneswar, Ahmedabad and Navi Mumbai – from November 2-21 this year. India is looking to boost its international standing as a host of top sporting events after holding the men’s Under-17 World Cup in 2017.

The Local Organising Committee welcomed the announcement in a statement:

“All the host cities have put in a lot of effort and commitment so far, and we are happy that the new dates will allow them to make up for the lost time and provide momentum going forward. All the stakeholders, including the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, have been supportive of the decision keeping in mind the health, safety and security of everyone involved, especially the teams and fans. The LOC will continue to work together with Fifa, and we remain fully committed to hosting a memorable and successful tournament.”  

Fifa also unveiled new dates for this year’s U-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica and Panama. It will now be played from January 20 to February 6, 2021.

The 2020 Fifa Futsal World Cup in Lithuania has been pushed back to September 12 next year.

Meanwhile, the 70th Fifa Congress, which was due to be held in Addis Ababa, will be run as an online event on September 18.

The coronavirus has brought international sport to a standstill, but some football leagues are restarting – albeit behind closed doors.

South Korea’s K-League came back to life last Friday and Germany’s Bundesliga football championship is to restart this weekend in empty stadiums.

(with AFP inputs)