The Indian football team will see no action this year with FIFA and AFC postponing the Asian qualifiers for 2022 FIFA World Cup. They postponed the qualifiers on Wednesday owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) postponed all men’s qualifiers scheduled for October and November. These were qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup and the 2023 Asian Cup.
India’s last international match was the joint qualifying round match against Oman in Muscat in November 2019. Oman had won 1-0.
India are still in the reckoning for a spot in the 2023 Asian Cup. They were scheduled to play Qatar at home on October 8. Later, they had matches against Afghanistan (home) and Bangladesh (away) in November.
India needs to have a third-place finish in the group. That will allow them to get a direct berth in the third round qualifiers for the 2023 Asian Cup.
“In light of the current COVID-19 situation in many countries, FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation 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,” read a joint statement of the FIFA and the AFC.
“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 World Cup 2022 and the AFC Asian Cup 2023 will be announced in due course,” the statement said.
India is currently fourth in Group E with three points from five games. Qatar tops the table with 13 points. Oman is at the second position with 12 points