FIFA have announced that the 2021 Under-17 and Under-20 World Cups have been cancelled due to the covid-19 pandemic.
The World Governing Body made this announcement today, 24 December 2020.
Indonesia and Peru, who were to host the under-17 and under-20 tournaments respectively, but will now host the 2023 editions.
While South Africa were still in the race to play at the under-17 edition, they were set to miss out on the under-20 World Cup after having failed to qualify for the 2021 under-20 Afcon.
With players ageing up, both teams will have to start the qualification process again.
The full statement:
“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bureau of the FIFA Council has decided to cancel the 2021 editions of the men’s FIFA U-20 World Cup™ and FIFA U-17 World Cup™, and to appoint Indonesia and Peru respectively, who were due to host the tournaments in 2021, as the hosts of 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. 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.”
“FIFA would like to express 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.”