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FIFA, AFC agree to postpone upcoming World Cup Asian qualifiers amid COVID-19 outbreak, Singapore affected

FIFA, AFC agree to postpone upcoming World Cup Asian qualifiers amid COVID-19 outbreak, Singapore affected

Singapore's Hafiz Nor jostles for the ball a World Cup qualifier against Uzbekistan. (Photo: Matthew Mohan)

SINGAPORE: FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have agreed to postpone the upcoming Asian qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup, it was announced on Monday (Mar 9), with Singapore among the teams affected.

This applies to matches originally scheduled to take place during the international windows of Mar 23 to Mar 31 and Jun 1 to Jun 9. 

This move follows consultation with Asia's member associations, said FIFA in a media release. FIFA and the AFC will discuss further details of the postponed matches, it said.

"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," added football's governing body.

READ: Singapore reports 10 new COVID-19 cases; 6 linked to SAFRA Jurong cluster, including a 5-year-old

READ: SAFRA Punggol gym disinfected, closed after COVID-19 patient used facility

Singapore currently sit in third place in Group D, two points behind leaders Uzbekistan.The Lions were slated to play their next qualifier away at Palestine on Mar 26, before facing Saudi Arabia at home five days later. This was to be followed by an away clash with Uzbekistan on Jun 4.

"Following both FIFA and the AFC announcement today, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) can confirm today the postponement of the National Team’s upcoming March and June fixtures against Palestine, Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup 2023 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2," said FAS in response to CNA's queries.

"FIFA and the AFC will continue to assess the situation in relation to COVID-19 and will communicate to the FAS details of any further changes to the fixture schedule in due course," it added. 

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Source: CNA/mt(mi)

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