Fifa and the Asian Football Confederation have postponed all World Cup 2022 qualifiers in Asia which were scheduled for March and June due to the coronavirus.
Several cases of the disease have been reported around the word with the most hit areas being found in the eastern continent where the virus originated.
The development was confirmed by the world football body in statement on Monday.
Here is the statement.
Following consultation with Asia’s member associations, FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have agreed to postpone the upcoming Asian qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ as follows:
- 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
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.
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.
The upcoming qualifiers for the Olympic Football Tournaments are foreseen to be played as scheduled, with the exception of the women’s Olympic qualifiers play-off between Korea Republic and China PR, which will now take place during the international window of 1-10 June 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.