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CONCACAF postpones start of World Cup qualifying until 2021 due to coronavirus pandemic
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09-Sep-2020, 12:01 am

CONCACAF postpones start of World Cup qualifying until 2021 due to coronavirus pandemic


Christian Pulisic Edson Alvarez Mexico USA USMNT Gold Cup 2019

CONCACAF has confirmed that the body's member nations will have to wait until 2021 in order to begin qualifying for the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

The federatinannounced in August that the competition's first group stage would commence with four rounds of fixtures to be played in the October and November international windows.

Six qualifiers would then advance to the second round, from which a further five teams are planned to advance to the final stage alongside top-seeded CONCACAF nations Mexico, United States, Costa Rica, Honduras and Jamaica to determined the region's 3.5 spots for Qatar.

Now, though, the tournament faces further rescheduling as it was deemed that the planned 2020 fixtures will not take place due to the lingering danger of the coronavirus pandemic.

"CONCACAF has held recent discussions with its member associations, FIFA and other stakeholders as the confederation continues to plan for the resumption of its competitions across the region," the association confirmed in a statement released on its official website on Tuesday.

"Following those discussions, CONCACAF and FIFA have jointly agreed that the CONCACAF Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will not be played in the FIFA match windows of October or November 2020, and will instead begin with the first round in the FIFA match window of March 2021.

"Many parts of the region continue to have very challenging public health situations, and that has been a key factor in this decision. Additionally, several countries across the confederation have travel restrictions and quarantine requirements, which would make international football involving 30 national teams extremely difficult.

"CONCACAF will now work with FIFA to finalize a new schedule, beginning with the first round in March 2021, which will be communicated in due course."

The body's decision puts further doubt on the ability to begin qualifiers in South America, one of the world's most-affected regions during the pandemic.

Like CONCACAF, CONMEBOL had determined to begin its competition in October, with Argentina hosting Ecuador and Brazil clashing with Bolivia in the scheduled opening round of fixtures.


Source : goal.com

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