Upcoming Asian qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be postponed as a safety measure in response to the coronavirus crisis, FIFA said Monday.
Soccer’s world governing body said it had reached an agreement with the Asian Football Confederation to push back the matches originally scheduled for the March 23 to 31 and June 1 to 9 international windows.
“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,” FIFA said in a statement.
Japan was scheduled to host Myanmar in the second round of Asian qualifying at Toyota Stadium on March 26 before traveling to face Mongolia in Ulaanbaatar on March 31.
The Samurai Blue were also due to meet Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan in June. New dates for the fixtures have yet to be determined.
Hajime Moriyasu’s men currently sit on top of Group F with four wins from four. The eight group winners, along with the top four runners up, will advance to the third Asian qualifying round.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.
Your news needs your support
Since the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis, The Japan Times has been providing free access to crucial news on the impact of the novel coronavirus as well as practical information about how to cope with the pandemic. Please consider subscribing today so we can continue offering you up-to-date, in-depth news about Japan.