Reverberations from coronavirus’ impact have continued after January 2021’s WAFF [West Asian Football Federation] Championship in the UAE was postponed.
All 12 member nations had agreed to take place for the first time in the competition’s 20-year history, from January 2-15. This included the – debutant – hosts, holders Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen.
A virtual meeting was held on Sunday afternoon to determine the regional tournament’s fate, headed by UAE Football Association general secretary Mohammed Hazzam Al Dhaheri and WAFF counterpart Khalil Al Salem. The compacted fixture list caused by March’s wave of domestic and international cancellations or postponements as countries attempted to curb the pandemic’s spread, however, necessitated a rescheduling.
“The meeting discussed many items, the most important of which is the 10th tournament for men’s teams, which was to be held in the UAE early next year,” said Al Dhaheri.
“Based on the discussion that took place in the meeting, it was decided to postpone the tournament due to changing the dates of the AFC Champions League and AFC Cup, plus joint qualifiers for World Cup 2022 and 2023 Asian Cup.
“The UAE FA will hold coordination meetings with WAFF in order to set proposed dates for the establishment of the tournament, so that these dates are suitable for all participating teams.”
Matchdays 7-10 in the second round of AFC qualifying for the World Cup will now be held in October and November. The governing body has vowed to begin the third round by March 2021.
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