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Coronavirus in India: India’s FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifiers postponed due to COVID-19

India’s FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 joint qualification round 2 matches — which were scheduled to be played in March and June this year — have been postponed due to the ongoing spread of coronavirus.

India were slated to host Asian champions Qatar at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on March 26. In June, they were scheduled to play Bangladesh in Dhaka on June 4 and then host neighbours Afghanistan in Kolkata on June 9.

In a letter, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) wrote: ‘FIFA and AFC will discuss further details of the postponed matches and communicate to the PMAs in due course.’

Meanwhile, the continental apex body further mentioned that upon mutual agreement, the respective countries can decide to play as per the pre-decided schedule should the safety and health concerns are taken care of.

“PMAs may still play the matches in March and June 2020 upon mutual agreement, provided the safety and health concerns of all individuals involved meet 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,” the statement added.

India’s away friendly against Tajikistan scheduled to be played on March 31 has also been postponed.

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