Asia's qualifying round for World Cup put off to 2021

Asia's qualifying round for World Cup put off to 2021

Akira Nishino
Akira Nishino

The remaining matches in Asia's qualifying round for the 2022 Qatar World Cup and the 2023 Asian Cup have been postponed until next year due to the coronavirus pandemic, world governing body Fifa and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said on Wednesday.

The matches were originally scheduled to take place in October and November this year.

"In light of the current Covid-19 situation in many countries, Fifa and the Asian Confederation (AFC) 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," the two organisations said in a joint statement.

"Fifa and the AFC will dentify new dates for the respective qualifying matches.

"Further details on the new dates for the next round of qualifying matches for the Fifa World Cup 2022 and Asian Cup 2023 will be announced in due course."

Thailand are in Group G of Asia's second qualifying round for the 2022 World Cup with eight group winners and four best runners-up advancing to the next stage.

After five games, Vietnam have 11 points, ahead of Malaysia (nine) and Thailand (eight). The UAE have six points with a game in hand while Indonesia are still chasing their first point.

It also serves as the qualifying round for the 2023 Asian Cup.

Thailand coach Akira Nishino is in his home country of Japan.

However, with the 2020 AFF Suzuki Cup (Southeast Asian championship), originally scheduled for November to December, also postponed, it is unclear when Nishino will return to Thailand.

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