China’s travel restrictions COVID-19 have forced the World Cup qualifiers planned for the eastern city of Suzhou to be moved to the United Arab Emirates.
The Chinese Football Association issued a statement Monday saying the outbreak of infections in the Maldives and Syria means both national teams will have to undergo strict quarantine upon arrival in China and cannot play on schedule.
The Asian Football Confederation confirmed in a statement on Tuesday that the qualifiers will be moved from China to the UAE.
“The remaining seven matches in Group A, which includes leaders Syria, China, the Philippines, the Maldives and Guam, will be held at Sharjah Stadium, and the proposed match schedule will be confirmed shortly after discussions with the participating teams, taking into account their schedules. arrival in the UAE, “AFC said.
On Monday, the Chinese federation said the pandemic had made the move.
“The decision was made due to the growing challenges facing several participating teams traveling to China. . . AFC is now working in close partnership with the China Football Association and potential neutral venues, as well as participating teams, to ensure the safe passage and well-being of all stakeholders, while reaffirming its commitment to ensuring the successful completion of Asian qualifiers. The Maldives and Syria had to play Group A matches in Suzhou in the second round of the Asian qualification for the 2022 World Cup.
“At the suggestion of the Asian Football Confederation, the CFA has agreed to move the remaining Group A matches of the Asian qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup to Dubai,” the CFA said in a statement.
Syria leads the group with five teams with 15 points from five consecutive victories. China finished second with 10 points after a 7-0 victory over last place Guam on Sunday. The Maldives are in fourth place with six points. The best team in each group will advance to the third round of the Asian qualifiers.
The second round of Asian qualifiers was severely disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The remaining games in most of the eight groups will compete in centers. Some teams will play their first international matches in 18 months this week. (AP) APA