No more Azkals action this year as FIFA postpones WCQ to 2021

Stephan Schrock and the rest of the Azkals will have to take time off the pitch this year. Jan Dayrit (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--We will not see the Azkals back in action this year.

FIFA announced on Wednesday that the scheduled matches of the joint World Cup and AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers this October and November will be moved to sometime in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision was made after both FIFA and AFC continue to monitor the pandemic situation in many Asian countries.

In the Philippines, the number of positive COVID-19 cases has soared to 143,749 as of 4 p.m. Wednesday.

"With the aim of protecting the health and safety of all participants, FIFA and the AFC will continue to work together to closely monitor the situation in the region and to identify new dates for the respective qualifying matches," FIFA said in a statement.

With the AFF Suzuki Cup also pushed to next year, the Azkals will not be seeing action for the rest of 2020.

The new dates of the joint qualifier windows will be announced at a later date.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno_