The Indian football team’s postponed 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying round game against Asian champions Qatar at home was on Friday rescheduled to October 8 as the continental body proposed new dates for the matches. India then take on Bangladesh away on November 12 and host Afghanistan on November 17.Also Read - Sandesh Jhingan Named AIFF Men's Footballer of Year, Suresh Wins Emerging Player Award
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC), in consultation with FIFA, announced the proposed match dates for the remaining matches of Round 2 in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Asian Qualifiers, which were originally scheduled to take place in March and June but postponed in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. Also Read - Indian Football Team Coach Igor Stimac's Contract Extended Till September Next Year
“Match Days 7 and 8 are now scheduled to take place on October 8 and 13, 2020 respectively while Match Days 9 and 10 are due to kick off on November 12 and 17, 2020,” the AFC said in a statement. Also Read - Lionel Messi Agrees to Sign New Five-Year Deal With Barcelona With Massive Pay-Cut: Reports
“The latest decision has been taken with a view to completing the Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 by November 2020 and to commence the subsequent FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Asian Qualifiers Final Round as well as the play-off matches for the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Round 3 Qualifiers by the March 2021 match dates in the FIFA International Calendar.”
India is already out of contention for a berth in the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The team is still in the reckoning for a spot in the 2023 AFC Asian Cup.
The AFC said it will continue to monitor the situation closely to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all teams, officials, fans and stakeholders as well as government travel and medical restrictions.
It said it will notify all parties should there be a need to reassess the match schedules due to the ever-evolving impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
(With Agency Inputs)