India's FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Qatar postponed: Details here
The Indian men football team's upcoming FIFA World Cup Qualifier match against Qatar has been postponed due to the spread of coronavirus. The match was scheduled on March 26. All India Football Federation (AIFF) General Secretary Kushal Das told PTI that the match against Qatar in Bhubaneswar will see a new date. Here are more details on the same.
"India's match against Qatar has been postponed. It will be played later this year but the new date is yet to be decided," Das said. When asked about the possibility of India's match against Afghanistan on June 9, Das said, "That match will also be postponed." The new dates will be known during a meeting between the AFC and AIFF officials on Tuesday.
"For both FIFA and the AFC, the well-being and health of all individuals involved in football matches remains the highest priority, and as such, a formal proposal to postpone upcoming matches in the Asian FIFA World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 qualifiers will now be shared with the relevant member associations," FIFA had said in a statement.
"The meeting will discuss about the new dates of these matches, besides other matters," he said. In view of the rising coronavirus threat, FIFA and the Asian body AFC had on Thursday proposed postponing all the upcoming 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup qualifiers.
The Indian team was set to begin a camp under head coach Igor Stimac in Bhubaneswar from Monday but it has now been cancelled. "The camp now stands cancelled. There is no point of having the camp as the match against Qatar has been postponed," a source in the AIFF said to PTI.
The Blue Tigers lost their 2022 World Cup Qualifier to Oman in Guwahati. Post that, they kept their chances alive after holding Asian champions Qatar to a goalless draw in Doha. However, last-minute draws against Bangladesh and Afghanistan hurt them badly. That was followed by a narrow 0-1 away loss to Oman and it put them out of contention for a next round berth.