By Peter Senyonjo
As COVID-19 continues to take on a monstrous form in most countries, the FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have decided that the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™/AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 fixtures, scheduled for the International Match Windows of October and November 2020, will be rescheduled to 2021.
The events were originally scheduled for the March and June 2020 International Match Windows, but as COVID-19 continues with its destructive streak, it was moved to the October and November 2020 International Match Windows, before again being rescheduled to 2021.
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The following are the Philippine Men’s National Team matches that have rescheduled to 2021:
- October 8, 2020 – Philippines vs. Guam (unincorporated territory of the United States)
- November 12, 2020 – China PR vs. Philippines
- November 17, 2020 – Philippines vs. Maldives
With the objective of protecting the health and safety of all participants, FIFA and AFC will continue to work in concert to closely monitor the situation in the region and to identify new dates for the respective qualifying matches.
With this change, the Indian football team’s remaining qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ have been postponed.
The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ qualifiers will decide 31 out of the 32 teams that will play in the sporting spectacle. Qatar, being the hosts of the World Cup, will automatically qualify for the tournament.
All the remaining 210 FIFA member associations are eligible to enter the qualifying process. The first round of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ qualifiers had opened in June 2019.
The 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ is scheduled to take place in Qatar in 2022. This will be the first-ever World Cup to be held in the Arab world and the second football World Cup in Asia after the FIFA World Cup 2002™, which Japan and South Korea played joint hosts.
The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ will also be the last one to involve 32 teams, as the 2026 tournament to be held in the US, Canada and Mexico will have 48 teams. The current world cup champions are France, who beat Croatia to clinch the title in 2008.