Asia's World Cup Qualifiers postponed to 2021 | The Daily Star
12:45 PM, August 12, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:57 PM, August 12, 2020

Asia's World Cup Qualifiers postponed to 2021

Qualifying matches in Asia for the 2022 Qatar World Cup and the 2023 Asian Cup have been postponed for next year due to the coronavirus pandemic, world governing body FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation said on Wednesday.

The matches were originally scheduled to take place during October and November this year.

A statement by the Asian Football Confederation said: "In light of the current COVID-19 situation in many countries, FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have jointly decided that the upcoming qualifying matches for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023, originally scheduled to take place during the international match windows in October and November 2020, will be rescheduled to 2021."

The statement further added: "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. Further details on the new dates for the next round of qualifying matches for the FIFA World Cup 2022 and the AFC Asian Cup 2023 will be announced in due course."

Bangladesh had already started training camp for the qualifiers, with an eye on their four remaining games in the qualifiers -- two in October and two in November. 

Bangladesh, sitting bottom with one point from four matches in Group E, were to host Afghanistan in Sylhet on October 8 before travelling to Qatar for the away match five days later.

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