FIFA, AFC postpone Asian World Cup Qualifiers

by BERNAMA/ pic by BERNAMA

FOLLOWING consultation with Asia’s member associations, the International Football Federation (FIFA) and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have agreed to postpone the upcoming Asian qualifiers for the World Cup Qatar 2020 tournament due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

In a statement, FIFA said the postponement to later dates covers matches originally scheduled to take place during the international windows of March 23-31 and June 1-9, 2020.

“However, 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 matches 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 said.

FIFA and the AFC have also agreed to postpone the 2020 AFC Futsal Championship Turkmenistan, which serves as the qualifiers for the 2020 Futsal World Cup Lithuania, until Aug 5-16, 2020.

The statement said 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 the Republic of Korea and China, which will take place during the international window of June 1-10.

“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,” it added.