The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of both the U-17 and U-19 FIFA World Cups in 2021.
Indonesia was set to host the 2021 FIFA U-20 World Cup and now Peru, the scheduled host of the 2021 FIFA U-17 World Cup, will instead host the 2023 editions of the respective tournaments.
The decision to cancel the 2021 tournaments was made by the Bureau of the FIFA Council.
“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 said in a statement on Thursday.
“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 said that it was looking forward to working closely with Indonesia and Peru to organise successful tournaments.
“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.”
The Bureau of the FIFA Council also made decisions regarding the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The allocation of the 32 slots for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup was confirmed – Australia and New Zealand as the two host countries automatically qualify for the World Cup.
Six direct slots for the Asian Football Confederation have been made available. Four direct slots are available for both the Confederation of African Football and the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football.
The South American Football Confederation has three direct slots while the Oceania Football Confederation has only one direct slot.
Three remaining slots for the tournament will made available via a play-off tournament.
Australia and New Zealand’s direct qualification for the World Cup are taken as a direct allocation from their confederations, the Asian Football Confederation and the Oceania Football Confederation.