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AFC postpones forthcoming World Cup and Asian Cup qualifiers

The Asian football governing body decided to put off the fixtures qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and the 2023 Asian Cup.

A general view shows the FIFA Club World Cup final football match between Germany's Bayern Munich vs Mexico's UANL Tigres at the Education City Stadium in the Qatari city of Ar-Rayyan on February 11, 2021. (Photo by Karim JAAFAR / AFP)

The Asian Football Confederation board has continued its meetings for the second consecutive day, as the board unanimously decided to postpone the Asian 2022 World cup qualifiers as well as the 2023 Asian qualifiers till next June instead of March due to the covid-19 ramifications affecting most countries of the continent.

The board has also decided that the qualifiers will follow the lead of the last edition of the AFC Champions League as fixtures will be held under the centralization system to avoid constant traveling and increasing the risk of the infection spreading.

Centralization system has been AFC's resort since the pandemic start

AFC has been the only confederation adopting such a system since the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak with group stages of this year's AFC CL set to follow the same system as many federations have already submitted their proposals to host the games of the event.

Only five games of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers were held with five more are to be played as of next June, with Saudi Arabia sit second of the fourth group with 8 points one point behind Uzbekistan, while the Qatari national team lies on top of the fifth group with 16 points ahead of Oman (12), Afghanistan (4), India (3), and Bangladesh (1).