FIFA have postponed the forthcoming World Youth championships due to concerns about the possibility of war breaking out in the region.

The tournament was due to be played in the United Arab Emirates from 25 March – 16 April. However, FIFA Executive Committee, meeting today in Zurich, has approved FIFA President Sepp Blatter’s proposal to postpone to a later date.

In confirming the postponement, FIFA issued the following statement: ‘FIFA regrets having to make this decision, because the team of local organisers, who have worked tremendously hard, were more than ready to host this tournament.

‘But FIFA must take into account its responsibilities towards the players, officials and other parties, as well as towards the media and spectators.’