Netball's World Youth Cup cancelled because of COVID-19 pandemic

The International Netball Federation (INF) has cancelled this year's Netball World Youth Cup, to be held in Fiji in December, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The New Zealand team are the defending tournament champions.

The INF, in consultation with the Fijian Government, the NWYC Organising Committee (OC), and the 20 netball nations who had qualified to take part, identified significant COVID-19 related challenges surrounding the event.

A comprehensive risk assessment was undertaken, highlighting several challenges including welfare of youth athletes, the inability of teams to adequately plan and 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 as of March 2021.

Netball New Zealand CEO Jennie Wyllie says it was a tough decision, but one that is understandable given the current global climate.

"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," she said.

"We know our New Zealand under-21 squad are hugely disappointed that they won't have the opportunity to compete at their pinnacle age group event and we will continue to support them."

The next tournament will take place in 2025.