New Zealand to fly the flag for Oceania in India
New Zealand to compete at next year's FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup
Decision taken after cancellation of the OFC qualifiers due to COVID-19
Kiwis have competed in all six previous U17WWCs and won bronze in 2018
New Zealand have been nominated as the Oceania Football Confederation's representatives for next year's FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in India.
This decision was taken by the confederation's Executive Committee after the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of the OFC U-17 Women’s Championship, which had twice been postponed and was most recently due to take place in April.
New Zealand have won the past four previous editions of that tournament and have also performed strongly at the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup itself, finishing third at Uruguay 2018.
OFC said that tournaments featuring players from this age bracket are generally scheduled in school holidays and no clear window was available in the coming months where a majority of the competing nations had school holidays in unison.
“We understand this is a deeply disappointing situation for all of the players, coaches and officials involved but the health and safety of the Pacific football community remains our top priority,” said OFC General Secretary Franck Castillo. “We want to provide the team who will represent OFC with the best chance to prepare for next year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in India.”
New Zealand, who hosted the inaugural edition of the U-17 Women's World Cup in 2008, are the fourth side confirmed for next year's event after Japan, Korea DPR and, of course, India themselves. The rescheduled global finals will take place between 17 February and 7 March 2021.