How COVID-19 forced rescheduling of 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers
By Victor Akuma
Following the backdrop of sporting events worldwide on account of the impact of coronavirus declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11 2020, the FIFA 2022 world cup qualifiers which started June 6, 2019, has been cutup in the situation as some confederations under the body have pushed their qualifiers to a later date than planned.
Most domestic sporting leagues worldwide have been shut down, although some like the English Premier League, Spanish La-liga and German Bundesliga, reopened to complete their seasons behind closed doors.
The 2020 Summer Olympics event which was also scheduled to take place from July 24 to August 9 2020, has now been rescheduled for July 23 to August 8 2021 and the 2022 World Cup has not been left out in this unfortunate situation.
Qualifiers for the next World Cup which is scheduled to take place in Qatar between November 21 and December 18, 2022 have been greatly affected by the pandemic.
Below are confederations that have rescheduled their world cup qualifiers date due to the impact of coronavirus on their local football competitions.
Confederation of African Football (CAF)
The qualifying process has now been confirmed, with a modified format to the 2018 edition.
There are 54 FIFA-affiliated nations under CAF
The new match calendar is as follows:
Matchday 1 – Oct. 5-13, 2020
Matchday 2 – Nov. 9-17, 2020
Matchday 3 – March 22-30, 2021
Matchday 4 – March 22-30, 2021
Matchday 5 – Aug. 30 – Sept. 7, 2021
Matchday 6 – Oct. 4-12, 2021
The groups are:
Group A: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Niger, Djibouti
Group B: Tunisia, Zambia, Mauritania, Equatorial Guinea,
Group C: Nigeria, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Liberia
Group D: Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Mozambique, Malawi
Group E: Mali, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda
Group F: Egypt, Gabon, Libya, Angola
Group G: Ghana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia
Group H: Senegal, Congo, Namibia, Togo
Group I: Morocco, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Sudan
Group J: Congo DR, Benin, Madagascar, Tanzania
Round Three: The 10 group winners will be drawn into head-to-head, two-legged ties for one of the five places at the World Cup. Fixtures to be played in November 2021
Asia Football Confederation (ASF)
The Asian first two rounds of qualifying are exactly the same as four years ago.
Round One: The 12 lowest ranked nations played two-legged ties in June 2019. Guam, Macau, Mongolia, Timor-Leste, Bangladesh and Cambodia advanced.
Round Two: The six winners from the first round join the other 34 Asian nations, drawn into eight groups of five teams — also played as qualifiers for the 2023 Asian Cup finals (for this reason World Cup hosts Qatar will take part).
The eight group winners and the four best group runners-up go through. If Qatar win their group, seven group winners and five best group runners-up progress.
Latest results can be seen here. Qualifying will resume in October 2020 with the stage completed on Nov. 17.
The Groups are as follows according to a report by ESPN;
Group A: China, Syria, Philippines, Maldives, Guam
Group B: Australia, Jordan, Chinese Taipei, Kuwait, Nepal
Group C: Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, Hong Kong, Cambodia
Group D: Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Palestine, Yemen, Singapore
Group E: Bangladesh, Oman, India, Afghanistan, Qatar
Group F: Japan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Myanmar, Mongolia
Group G: United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia
Group H: South Korea, Lebanon, North Korea, Turkmenistan, Sri Lanka.