The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has informed its Participating Member Associations (PMAs) on the decision to postpone all matches of the forthcoming joint FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 qualifiers in March and June due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has quoted a letter by the AFC which states: “FIFA and AFC will discuss further details of the postponed matches and communicate to the PMAs in due course.”
“PMAs may still play the matches in March and June 2020 upon mutual agreement, provided the safety and health concerns of all individuals involved met the required standards, subject to prior approval by FIFA and AFC.”
“AFC and FIFA will continue to assess the situation and decide whether further changes to the schedule of the Preliminary Joint Qualifiers Round 2 are required with the aim of protecting the well-being and health of all individuals concerned.”
India were slated to host AFC Asian Cup champions Qatar at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on March 26, 2020, neighbours Bangladesh in Dhaka on June 4 and Afghanistan in Kolkata on June 9.
Statement by The Asian Football Confederation (AFC)
Following consultation with Asia’s member associations, FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have agreed to postpone the upcoming Asian qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 as follows:
• Matches originally scheduled to take place during the international window of
• 23-31 March 2020 and 1-9 June 2020 are postponed to later dates
• FIFA and the AFC will discuss further details of the postponed matches
However, in order 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 match(es) 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.
FIFA and the AFC have also agreed to postpone the AFC Futsal Championship Turkmenistan 2020, which serves as the qualifiers for the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2020, until 5-16 August 2020.
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 Korea Republic and China PR, which will now take place during the international window of 1-10 June 2020.
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.