FIFA announced on Tuesday changes to the dates of several of its competitions. International football’s government body said that the next Women’s U-20 World Cup will not be in 2021 but in 2022, keeping Costa Rica as the venue.
That tournament was to have been initially played in August and September 2020, with Costa Rica and Panama sharing the role as hosts, but the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic modified those plans.
Panama resigned from hosting for financial reasons, and the tournament was initially postponed to 2021. Now, FIFA has determined that a 2021 date is definitively canceled and offered Costa Rica the organization of the 2022 tournament.
In a statement, the Costa Rican Football Federation (FEDEFUTBOL) accepted the responsibility.
“We understand and support FIFA with this decision,” the organization said. “Obviously, we felt hurt because we wanted to have the World Cup in January in our country, but public health is a priority for FIFA and Fedefutbol.
“In the midst of this situation, we receive with great joy the confirmation that Costa Rica will host the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup in 2022.”
The move is similar to what happened with the Women’s U-17 World Cup, also initially transferred to 2021 and finally suspended. India, which was to be the host, received the right to organize the next appointment, also in 2022.
“As a result and after careful consideration of the feedback received by the stakeholders combined with the inability to further postpone these tournaments, the FIFA-Confederations COVID-19 Working Group subsequently recommended that the 2020 editions of the two women’s youth tournaments be cancelled and that the hosting rights for the 2022 editions be offered to the countries that were due to host the 2020 editions,” FIFA explained in a statement.
“In light of this, and following further consultation between FIFA and the respective host member associations regarding the 2022 editions of the tournaments, the Bureau of the Council has approved Costa Rica as host of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2022.”
Among the reasons for deciding not to organize these youth events in 2020 are “challenges around preparation time for age-group teams, and the numerous obstacles to finalizing the continental qualification tournaments due to the pandemic,” explained FIFA, which insisted that health must come first.