AFC set revised dates for World Cup and Asian Cup joint Qualifiers

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have informed the All India Football Federation (AIFF) of the new match dates for India’s FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Preliminary Competition and the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Qualifiers Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2. The matches were initially supposed to be played in March and June of 2020, but were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter by the AFC, they wrote, “After several months of anxious waiting and now with the improved situation globally and in preparation of the ‘new normal’ the AFC in consultation with FIFA, is planning to reschedule the postponed matches in the FIFA International Windows in October and November 2020.”

The Blue Tigers were to host Asian champions Qatar at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on March 26, 2020 and then travel to Dhaka to play Bangladesh on June 4 before hosting neighbours Afghanistan in Kolkata on June 9.

India have played five matches in group E of the qualifiers, collecting three points so far. Their upcoming fixtures in the revised schedule will see them take on Qatar in the second week of October, before travelling to Bangladesh. However, all matches will be held subject to clearances and directives from the Government of India.

As per the new dates, India’s match schedule is as follows:

October 8, 2020: India vs Qatar (Home-match).

November 12, 2020: Bangladesh vs India (Away match).

November 17: India vs Afghanistan (Home match).

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