By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde
Sports Writer, Nigeria

New Zealand Under 17 girls have been nominated as the Oceania Football Confederation, OFC’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, COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the OFC U-17 Women’s Championship, which had been due to take place in April of this year.

It should be recalled that New Zealand has won the past four previous editions of that tournament and has also performed strongly at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup itself, finishing third at Uruguay 2018.

“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 remain our top priority,” said OFC General Secretary Franck Castillo in a statement released by Federation of International Football Association, FIFA.

“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 Thomas Dennerby led host, India.

The rescheduled FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup finals will now take place between 17 February and 7 March 2021 against the initial 2020 date due to the outbreak of the CoronaVirus pandemic.

Flamingos, Nigeria’s Under 17 girls will play their Ghanaian counterparts in the final qualifying fixture over two legs to determine one of the African representatives at the tournament upon directives from the Confederation of African Football, CAF on the resumption of qualifiers given the current CoronaVirus pandemic situations.

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