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FIFA postpones Asia’s 2022 World Cup qualifiers


FIFA World Cup

FIFA announced on Monday that all the matches of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers slated to be held in March and June have been postponed over the novel coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement, the governing football body noted that the decision has been made following consultation with Asia’s member associations.

“Matches originally scheduled to take place during the international window of 23-31 March 2020 and 1-9 June 2020 are postponed to later dates. FIFA and the AFC will discuss further details of the postponed matches,” notes the statement.

“However, in order to support the member associations concerned, and provided that the safety of all individuals involved meets the required standards and that the member associations due to play each other mutually agree, the match(es) may still be played during the international windows of March or June 2020, but always subject to prior approval from both FIFA and the AFC.

The statement adds that “FIFA and the AFC have also agreed to postpone the AFC Futsal Championship Turkmenistan 2020, which serves as the qualifiers for the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2020, until 5-16 August 2020.”

“FIFA and the AFC will continue to assess the situation in relation to COVID-19 and will decide whether further changes to the schedule of Asian FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers are required, always with the aim of protecting the safety and health of all individuals involved.”

Iranian national football team was slated to hold four matches against Hong Kong, Cambodia, Bahrain, and Iraq in March and June in Group C of qualifiers. It is expected that matches will be rescheduled for October and November.