Mahmoud Almawas (L) of Syria competes during the group A match between China and Syria of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, Nov. 14, 2019. (Photo: Xinhua)
The qualifying matches for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 have been postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said on Wednesday.
The decision had been jointly made by FIFA and AFC in light of the current COVID-19 situation in many countries, with the matches scheduled for October and November being pushed back to next year, the Asian football governing body said in a statement.
"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," it said.
AFC added that new dates for the next round of qualifying matches will be announced at a later point.