Defending champions Spain qualify for U-17 Women’s FIFA World Cup in India

Apart from Spain, England and Germany, North Korea, Japan and New Zealand have qualified for the U-17 Women's FIFA World Cup so far.

By Subhayan Dutta

European heavyweights England, Germany and reigning Under-17 Women’s FIFA World Cup champions Spain were the latest teams to qualify for the 2021 edition to be hosted by India in February next year.

The teams were announced by the Local Organising Committee (LOC) after UEFA cancelled the final round of the UEFA U-17 Women’s Championship, the European qualifiers for the 2021 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Three teams with the highest coefficient ranking have been confirmed as the participants in the World Cup,” confirmed the LOC.

Featuring 16 teams in total, the 13th edition of the tournament was originally scheduled to be held in November this year but had to be rescheduled from February 17 to March 7, 2021, due to the pandemic.

Apart from the European teams, the Asian Football Confederation has seen Japan and North Korea book their places in the final round, while New Zealand have qualified from the Oceania Football Confederation.

Direct entry for hosts India

Hosts India gets a direct entry into the competition, which will be their first-ever campaign in the U-17 Women FIFA World Cup.

There will be 32 matches held across five venues - the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata, the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati, EKA Arena in Ahmedabad and the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.

Drawn into Group A, India will commence their group stage matches in Guwahati with matches scheduled on February 17, 20 and 22.

While the four quarter-final matches will be held on February 27 and 28 across four cities, the two semi-final fixtures are scheduled on March 3 before the grand finale on March 7.

After a successful hosting of the men’s U-17 World Cup in 2017, which had broken attendance records, India is fast becoming a destination for hosting global football competitions.

Apart from the U-17 Women’s World Cup, India will also host the 2022 Women’s Asian Cup.