The practice match scheduled between the Indian and Philippines national teams has been cancelled.
India was supposed to be playing a practice match against the Philippines ahead of their 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup qualifiers.
While the Philippines had acquired a clearance from the Qatar Health Ministry, the Indian team’s letter to the concerned authority did not get the required green light for this fixture.
Meanwhile, the Philippines team, which is currently in Doha, will play their remaining World Cup 2022 qualifying games next month where they face off with hosts Qatar on June 3, followed by Bangladesh and Afghanistan on June 7 and 15 respectively.
With barely 18 months left for the start of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the participating Asian nations seem to be hardly prepared for the playoffs in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic that has disrupted the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) qualification schedule.
While the four rounds of Asian qualifiers were supposed to be completed by November 2021 with the inter-confederation playoffs scheduled for March 2022, the tournament’s extension to June 2022 means that the final team from Asia could qualify as late as just five months before the first-ever “winter” World Cup.
Eight group winners and four best runners-up will advance from this phase of 39 teams after DPR Korea withdrew from the competition.
Matches will now be held in centralized venues across the continent with12 teams receiving the bonus of a direct berth in the 2023 AFC Asian Cup in China.