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FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in India Could be Postponed Again; EFL Hopes for Government Funds to Keep Clubs Alive and More (Football Round-Up)

Short Passes (Football News Round-up): Women's FIFA U-17 World Cup, scheduled for February next year, likely to be postponed again | English Football League (EFL) expects to get government money to keep clubs alive | Kevin De Bruyne, Robert Lewandowski, Lucy Bronze and Pernille Harder on UEFA player of the year shortlist | Risks loom as Budapest prepares to welcome 20,000 fans for European Super Cup | EFL considers bringing back mandatory coronavirus testing after positive results.
FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup 2021 dates

The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup  was originally scheduled at five venues in India between November 2-21 but was postponed to February 17 - March 7, 2021.

The already rescheduled FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup could get postponed again in view of the pandemic. 

The tournament was originally scheduled to take place across five venues in India between November 2-21 but was postponed to be played between February 17 and March 7 next year. However, with less than five months left for the tournament and the virus showing no signs of abating, it is very likely the event could be postponed further. 

"There is a high possibility that the women's FIFA U-17 World Cup will be postponed again. The new timeframe when the tournament will be held is yet not known. But most probably it is getting postponed," a source privy to the development told PTI.

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Meanwhile, general secretary of the All India Football Federation (AIFF), Kushal Das, told PTI that there has been no official update on the matter so far but when asked on the possibility of postponement, he said, "It can be (postponed).”

The confederations of Africa (CAF), North and Central America (CONCACAF) and South America (CONMEBOL) are still yet to hold their qualifiers. India was supposed to start the national camp early next month but reconsider if the tournament deferred yet again. 

EFL Expects Government Funds 

The English Football League (EFL) hopes to get funding from the UK government to help them battle a financial crunch that has disrupted the football fraternity. 

The EFL has anticipated losses up to £250 million ($319 million) for its 72 clubs and with pilot matches for fans halted, things look pretty bad for leagues. 

“Following the successful return of supporters to seven fixtures on Saturday, the EFL is disappointed at yesterday’s decision to suspend plans for the return of fans to matches,” EFL chairman, Rick Parry said in a statement.

“Therefore we are deeply frustrated that we will not be able to continue this work and, in doing so, gather the evidence to show that crowds can return safely to football and become an important financial lifeline for our clubs. Therefore, as a matter of urgency we now need to understand what the government’s roadmap is for getting supporters back into stadiums as soon as it is deemed safe to do so,” he said.

“I am encouraged that the government has recognised the need for urgent financial assistance for sport and discussions will continue with DCMS and the Premier League,” he added. “We remain optimistic that a solution will be found but we should also be very clear that if it is not, then the outlook for many clubs in the period ahead will be very challenging.”

UEFA Player Of The Year Shortlist 

UEFA announced Kevin De Bruyne, Robert Lewandowski, and Manuel Neuer as the shortlisted candidates for UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award. 

Lewandowski scored 15 goals in the Champions League and was at the forefront of Bayern Munich’s treble winning season — also in the process winning their sixth Champions League crown. He was also the top scorer with 34 goals in the Bundesliga and missed out to Lazio’s Ciro Immobile, for the European golden shoe. 

Neuer, Bayern’s captain for the season, missed one game the entire season, constantly battling concerns that he was past his best. De Bruyne, was overwhelmingly the Premier League’s outstanding player of the season — and was rewarded for the same by his peers in the PFA awards. His 20 assists were a European high for the season and equalled Thierry Henry’s record in the Premier League. 

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Manchester City full-back Lucy Bronze, Chelsea striker Pernille Harder and Olympique Lyonnais defender Wendie Renard are on the shortlist for the women’s player of the year award. Bronze and Renard were part of the Lyon team that won their fifth straight Champions league title. Harder was in a Wolfsburg side that finished second in the competition, and soon after sealed a record breaking transfer to Chelsea. 

Bayern Munich’s Hans-Dieter Flick of Bayern Munich, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and RB Leipzig’s Julian Nagelsmann were nominated for the Men’s coach award of the year. Lluis Cortes of Barcelona, Stephan Lerch of Wolfsburg and  Jean-Luc Vasseur of Lyon were shortlisted for the Women’s Coach of the year award. 

Risk Lingers at UEFA Super Cup 

Hungarian ambulance workers along with 500 paramedics will attend the UEFA Super Cup due rising cases in Hungary in Budapest on Thursday. 

Champions League winners Bayern Munich will face Europa League champions Sevilla at the Puskas Arena in Budapest where thousands of spectators will attend the game. 

With the second wave of Covid-19 hitting Hungary hard, the consequences of mass gatherings could be very risky. However, Both Hungary and UEFA believe that with their strict countermeasures in place, the spread of infection will be contained. 

“The tickets were snapped up within 21 hours,” the National Ambulance Service (OMSZ) boasted on its Facebook page on Sept. 9. “More than 500 ambulance workers will partake in the match... Have fun safely and have a good game!”

However, there were others who were far less thrilled, “The gesture as such would be nice,” Zsuzsanna Pongracz, a 41 year-old ambulance worker currently on maternity leave, told Reuters. “But is it really a good idea to send into that crowd health workers usually servicing the front lines?”

EFL Mulls Mandatory Testing Again 

The English Football League is considering mandatory coronavirus testing after an increase in the number of cases were reported in the league recently. 

The outbreak at Leyton Orient this week in addition to West Ham manager David Moyes, players Issa Diop and Josh Cullen testing positive for Covid-19 before their Carabao Cup tie against Hull City has put the EFL in a tight spot. Players and staff at Hull did not undergo testing ahead of the game. 

“The EFL are not testing their players for financial reasons,” West Ham owner David Sullivan told TalkSport. “We actually said, medically, why are we in a competition where we’re playing teams who have not been checked? We, with a few other Premier League clubs, decided to make the proposal to offer the teams we’re playing a check, at our expense so there is no cost to them whatsoever, so we were not exposing our players to untested players.”

However, the EFL stated that reduced testing was not due to financial reasons but due to medical evidence which demonstrates more than 99 percent tested conducted last month were negative. 

With the cost for testing around £5,000, it is not financially feasible for many lower league teams which are struggling massively due lack of match day revenue. 

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