Asian World Cup qualifiers set to be postponed due to coronavirus

By Peter Thompson 5 March 2020 76
Asian World Cup qualifiers set to be postponed due to coronavirus

FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) are to propose that the upcoming Asian World Cup 2022 and Asian Cup 2023 qualifiers are postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The next Asian qualifiers for the World Cup in Qatar were due to be staged on the final week of this month but are now set to be called off.

A FIFA statement released on Thursday revealed that an update on the fixtures will follow "in the coming days" after consultation with AFC member associations.

The next batch of Asian Cup qualifiers were also slated for this month but are similarly in line to be postponed due to the virus, which originated in China, that has killed over 3,000 people.

"FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) met at the Home of FIFA to discuss football activities in Asia." a FIFA statement read.

"For both FIFA and the AFC, the well-being and health of all individuals involved in football matches remains the highest priority, and as such, a formal proposal to postpone upcoming matches in the Asian FIFA World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 qualifiers will now be shared with the relevant member associations.

"FIFA and the AFC will provide an update on these fixtures in the coming days following consultation with the AFC member associations.

"FIFA will continue to monitor the situation in relation to COVID-19 in cooperation with the World Health Organisation (WHO), the confederations and the member associations.

"Information on other international matches may be provided by the relevant confederation or member association."

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Peter Thompson