Asuncion, March 20 (IANS) The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) has urged FIFA to postpone the World Cup 2022 qualifiers to September as a preventive measure against the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“Request FIFA to postpone the South American qualifying rounds for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 to September 2020,” CONMEBOL said in a statement read.
“By doing this, the confederation ensures all precautions are taken against the global and regional spread of the coronavirus, in line with the recommendations of international health authorities,” it added.
The South American zone’s opening World Cup qualifiers had been scheduled to take place on March 26, 27 and 31 but were suspended last week. Brazil are due to host Bolivia and travel to Peru in their first two qualifiers while Argentina are scheduled to host Ecuador and visit Bolivia.
The 2022 World Cup is scheduled to be played in Qatar from November 21 to December 18.
Earlier, the CONMEBOL had postponed the Copa America until the summer of 2021. The 12-team tournament, which had originally been scheduled to take place from June 12 to July 12 in Colombia and Argentina, follows the 16th edition of the euros which also has been postponed to 2021 amidst the crisis unleashed by the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Many sporting events across the world have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak which has claimed close to 10,000 lives so far.