South American football qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar has been postponed to October. World football governing body FIFA said on Friday amid the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
Intially the 18-round world cup qualifying tournament was scheduled start in March but because of the coronavirus, it was suspended.
“Taking into account the outcome of the discussions held in the COVID-19 FIFA-confederations working group, the CONMEBOL council has today requested FIFA to include a replacement international window in January 2022 in the international match calendar in order to complete the South American qualifiers in March 2022,” FIFA said in a statement.
It added that the request would be discussed at the next FIFA council meeting.
The top four teams at the end of the South American qualifiers will earn an automatic place in football’s showpiece tournament to be played from 21st November 2022.
The fifth-ranked team will advance to an intercontinental playoff, to be held over two legs in June 2022.