The Confederation of the African Football has postponed the upcoming World Cup qualifiers, including the game between Zimbabwe and South Africa, scheduled for June.
The decision was made at an emergency meeting on Monday after several host stadiums failed to get approval from the continental body due to their bad condition caused by the coronavirus.
Teams like Senegal, Mali, Malawi, Seychelles, Somalia, Namibia, Niger, and Liberia were among those affected.
According to a statement by CAF, the first two days of the qualifying campaign will now happen in September. This would give more time to the member associations to renovate the stadiums up to the minimum standards.
“The CAF Emergency Committee, in consultation with FIFA, decided to postpone the CAF qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 that were due to be played in June 2021 after taking into consideration the current challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need to ensure the optimal playing conditions for all participating teams,” the football body said.
“The qualifiers will now take place in the existing windows of September, October and November 2021, and March 2022.”
Zimbabwe’s National Sports Stadium got approval but the FA was told about the areas still needing improvements.
And the postponement will now allow more work to be done on the venue to avoid fines that may arise from organisational and technical violations during the games.
The Warriors were supposed to host South Africa in the opening match of Group G before travelling to Ethiopia for Matchday 2.