FIFA and the organizing committee have agreed that this meeting could not be held as usual during Ascension weekend due to the epidemiological situation in Zurich and Switzerland. Anxious to avoid a second cancellation due to the Covid-19 pandemic after that of 2020, the two authorities plan to organize the 2021 edition at the end of August if conditions allow it.
Once again this year, the organization of the FIFA / Blue Stars Youth Tournament at the Buchlern sports complex in the district of Zurich-Altstetten appears uncertain. FIFA and the organizing committee are already certain that this meeting cannot take place on the dates initially planned for this purpose, namely May 12 and 13. The epidemiological situation makes it impossible to hold it during Ascension weekend, as is usually the case. After 2020, does the specter of a new cancellation therefore weigh on the tournament? The organizers do not want to do this and they are already working on a fallback solution. The 2021 FIFA / Blue Stars Youth Tournament is now scheduled to take place on August 28-29.
The participants’ platform still unknown
The restrictions affecting international travel due to the Covid-19 pandemic are a real challenge when it comes to defining the list of participants. As a result, the format of the competition and the schedule of matches have not yet been determined. Everything will nevertheless be done to offer a highly attractive men’s tournament and a women’s tournament. In close cooperation with the city of Zurich, the sponsors and partners of this traditional meeting, all possibilities will be studied so that success can be achieved.
The safety of all those involved, first and foremost that of the players and the many volunteers, naturally remains at the center of the considerations, because health must come before any other consideration. In the coming weeks, FIFA and the organizing committee will closely monitor the development of the epidemiological situation with the relevant authorities, who will also be involved in the development of the appropriate health measures and concepts. At the moment, many questions still remain unanswered, in particular as regards the possibility of accommodating spectators or not.
If, at the start of the summer, the holding of the 2021 FIFA / Blue Stars Youth Tournament at the end of August were also to appear unrealistic, its definitive cancellation would then be pronounced.