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India Has Pulled Out Of 2021 FIFA U-17 WWC: Says Ghana, Denies India

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Kolkata: After the successful hosting of the FIFA U-17 Men’s World Cup in 2017, India is all set to welcome 16 teams from across the globe for the women’s mega event February-March next year. The tournament which was originally scheduled to be a November 2-21 event has to be postponed with the rising COVID-19 cases in the country.

But there may be a heartbreak for the football aficionados of the country.

Elsewhere, a tweet from a Ghanaian journalist announced that India has withdrawn from hosting the tournament. “India pulls out of hosting the U17 @FIFAcom women’s World Cup due to rise in Covid-19 cases. @ghanafaofficial asked Ghana’s U20 and U17 Women’s national team to go home awaiting new directives. Which country will bid to host the tournament?” stated the tweet.

The Lateralz got in touch with a Ghana Football Association official, who confirmed the development. “Yes, it is true. We received the information yesterday (October 18) from FIFA. An official communique was sent to the General Secretary,” the official said on the condition of anonymity.

However, sources in the know have denied Ghana’s claim. “We don’t have any news regarding India withdrawing from hosting the tournament,” said an official, who also did not wish to be named. “I am hearing this for the first time from you,” told another official.

India currently stands second in the COVID-19 world metre after the United States of America with 7,550,273 positive cases to date. The country has reported new positive 55,722 cases with a total of 114,610 deaths till now. India have already qualified for the tournament being the hosts with Japan and North Korea completing the Asian representation.

New Zealand have been nominated from the Oceania region while Germany, England and Spain will represent UEFA after the Qualifiers were cancelled due to COVID-19. Meanwhile, hosting the tournament won’t be a problem for the All India Football Federation as they has successfully completed the I-League Qualifiers in a bio-secure bubble.

The Indian Super League is also on its way to a successful start with nearly the whole contingent in a bio-secure bubble in Goa. The ISL is slated for a mid-November start. Meanwhile, when asked an AIFF official said he is unaware of any such development.

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