Harare – The Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) has moved World Cup qualifiers, scheduled for next month, to September as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to be felt across the continent.
The first round of Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifiers had been scheduled for the weekend of June 5-8, with the second round of matches set for June 11-14.
But on Thursday the CAF Emergency Committee decided to postpone the matches citing the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The CAF Emergency Committee, in consultation with FIFA, decided to postpone the CAF qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 that were due to be played in June 2021 after taking into consideration the current challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need to ensure the optimal playing conditions for all participating teams.
“The qualifiers will now take place in the existing windows of September, October and November 2021, and March 2022,” reads a statement from CAF.
CAF said it would use the postponement to reassess its protocols pertaining to COVID-19.
“CAF is reassessing its protocols and processes to enhance the implementation of covid-related protocols, including specifically focusing on pre-match testing which had been the source of some challenges in previous windows,” continued the statement.