FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced this Wednesday the postponement until 2021 of the matches of the Asian qualifying phase for the World Cup Qatar 2022 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The second round of the Asia phase was originally scheduled for the international windows in October and November, but is being postponed, according to the statement made public by both organizations. due to the “COVID-19 situation in many countries”.
It is the second time that the playoffs, which also serve as the qualifying round for the 2023 Asian Cup in China, have been delayed as the March and June matches were also postponed due to the pandemic.
“With the aim of protecting the health and safety of all participants, FIFA and the AFC will continue to work together to closely monitor the situation in the region and identify new dates for the respective qualifying matches,” the statement said.
“More details on the new dates for the next round of qualifying matches for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the 2023 AFC Asian Cup will be announced in due course.” The AFC also suspended its top club competition, the Asian Champions League (ACL), in early March due to the virus.
Qatar will be the regional hub for matches in West Asia when the ACL resumes on September 14. Malaysia was named the centralized center in East Asia with matches in the region that will restart in October.