FIFA postpones World Cup Qualifiers, related games due to COVID-19 outbreak

The Azkals scored a point vs China PR first time in 61 years of World Cup Qualifying history as they ended the match into a goalless draw last October 15, 2019. They will face each other for the second time in China's soil supposedly on June 4 but FIFA and AFC postponed the match. PFF (file photo)
By Gil Mar Moriones

MANILA – For the assurance of player’s safety and security, FIFA and Asian Football Confederation decided to postpone the qualifying windows for the FIFA World Cup 2022 and Asian Cup 2023 particularly the March 23-31 and June 1-9 window dates after several consultations from the governing and confederation body.

This means that the Azkals' matches against Guam on March 26, China PR on June 4, and against Maldives on June 9 – the Azkals’ last three fixtures for the 2nd round of the qualifiers are hereby postponed.

Also, the two bodies are mutually agreed to postpone the AFC Futsal Championship in Turkmenistan that will serve as qualifying round for FIFA Futsal World Cup in Lithuania this year.

However, the fixtures for Olympic Football Qualifying Tournaments are expected to play as scheduled. The Women’s Qualifying playoffs between China PR and Korea Republic will take place between June 1-10.

Upon the approval from both FIFA and AFC, the Philippine Football Federation can still initiate exhibition matches with other teams provided the assurance of safety of individuals involved and meet the standards.

FIFA and AFC will continue to assess the situation in relation to COVID-19 and will decide whether further changes to the schedule of Asian Qualifiers are required.

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