The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) will have a hard time rescuing the second round of the 2022 World Cup qualifying match in Asia at today’s emergency meeting in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) with members of East Asia in the face of the complicated evolution of the Covid-19 epidemic.
According to AFC, the meeting to provide solutions to cope with the risk of Covid-19 may cause many World Cup qualifying matches of 2022 (taking place on March 26 and March 31) to be postponed or banned from the audience.
East Asia is currently home to many countries heavily affected by the Covid-19 epidemic and has suspended domestic sports events such as China, South Korea, Japan, North Korea,… These are The country will have a team competing in the two matches above, along with Southeast Asian teams such as Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Philippines – countries that are implementing measures legal isolation 14 days for people on entry and travel restrictions. This will make it difficult for teams to summon players playing abroad and those teams who will have to guest on the opponent’s court.
Most recently, Thailand’s Akira Nishino coach did not hide his worry that there would be no 4 stars playing in Japan (including: Kawin Thamsatchanan, Chanathip Songkrasin, Theerathon Bunmathan, Teerasil Dangda) in the match against Indonesia (Group G, March 26) implemented by the government of this country for a 14-day quarantine measure against entry from the epidemic area. Therefore, according to the Asian press, the meeting is likely to come to the decision to postpone many matches. Moreover, just before the meeting, the AFC canceled its conference in Malaysia on April 16 due to disease concerns.
This situation makes the Chinese team (Group A), Japan (Group F), Hong Kong (Group C), South Korea, North Korea (Group H) certainly will not be able to host home matches or even lice on neutral ground in March.
Faced with the urgent situation, AFC President Shaikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa yesterday announced that he would support members affected by the Covid-19 epidemic, while discussing reasonable decisions to postpone.
“In this situation, we will have to ensure that the health and safety of football teams and fans is paramount. AFC will not put anyone at risk in times of heightened health concerns around the globe”, Mr. Shaikh Salman emphasized.