FIFA announces new dates for U-17 Women's World Cup in India

File photo: The Gateway of India illuminated with lights during the Official Emblem Launch of the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup. Aparna Jayakumar - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

The Women's U-17 World Cup will be held in India from February 17 to March 7, 2021, FIFA announced on Tuesday. As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, FIFA was forced to postpone the tournament, which was earlier scheduled to be held in November 2020.

FIFA also stated that the tournament would keep its original eligibility criteria -- players born on or after January 1, 2003 and on or before December 31, 2005. This means that teams who have already been working with a set of players need not worry about identifying a new squad in such a short period.

The World Cup is scheduled to be played at Bhubhaneswar, Kolkata, Guwahati, Ahmedabad and Navi Mumbai, with Guwahati hosting the opener and Navi Mumbai the final. It will be competed among 16 teams, with hosts India being automatic qualifiers in what will be India's maiden appearance in the U-17 Women's World Cup.

The only qualifying event that has been held so far was for Asia, from where Japan and North Korea made the cut. Five remaining qualifying events -- that of Africa, Europe, Oceania, South America, and Central, North America and Caribbean -- had to be stopped due to the pandemic.

Apart from the U17 World Cup, FIFA also announced that the U20 Women's World Cup to be played in Costa Rica and Panama was rescheduled to January 20 - February 6, 2021, while the Futsal World Cup Lithuania will be played from September 12 - October 3, 2021.