Sport | Fiji

Covid deals blow plans for Netball Youth World Cup in Fiji

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The 2021 Netball Youth World Cup which was to be hosted by Fiji in December has been cancelled due to Covid-19 safety concerns.

“It is with a heavy heart that we make this decision," International Netball Federation president Liz Nicholl said in a statement.

"Our U21 athletes represent the emerging talent at an international level, and we recognise this announcement will be a significant disappointment for them, for our members, our fans and indeed for all the netball family.”

Netball New Zealand CEO Jennie Wyllie said the difficult decision was made in the best interests of participants and the people of Fiji.

“This was a very tough decision for INF to make, but one that is ultimately the right one to ensure the safety of all players and management, as well as the population of Fiji.”

Rough news for all players with the International Netball Federation announcing its decision to cancel the Netball World...

Posted by Netball New Zealand on Friday, 19 March 2021

The New Zealand Under 21 team are defending world youth champions and will now get their next opportunity to defend the title in 2025.

The INF said a comprehensive risk assessment was undertaken highlighting a number of challenges involved in going ahead with the tournament.

The international federation said the challenges included: the welfare of youth athletes; the inability of teams to adequately prepare together for an intense level of international competition; ongoing border closures; travel restrictions including quarantine measures and costs; and the protection of Fiji, a nation which has seen low Covid-19 numbers.