KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: Next month’s Club World Cup in Qatar has been postponed until February by world football federation FIFA with no guarantee, of course, that it will be possible to stage it even then.

The decision was taken by the FIFA bureau which is made up of FIFA president Gianni Infantino and the heads of the six regional confederations.

European champions Bayern Munich may be concerned at the fixtures squeeze with their Champions League defence set to resume later in February.

A continuing realignment of the international calendar has forced the cancellation of next year’s Women’s U-20 and U-17 World Cups. Original hosts Costa Rica and India have been awarded the subsequent 2022 events instead.

A FIFA statement explained:

The FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020, which was originally scheduled for December, has been subject to the disruptive effect of the pandemic on the confederations’ continental club championships that serve as a pathway for the event.

The introduction of strict return-to-play protocols has facilitated a successful resumption of continental club championships the last of which is now scheduled to conclude by the end of January 2021.

As a result, the FIFA Club World Cup 2020 will now be held from February 1-11 in Qatar.

The impossibility of completing qualifying competitions in time was a major factor in the slippage of the women’s junior tournaments.

FIFA said:

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.

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 and India as host of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022 respectively.