Football: Fifa and AFC agree to postpone next two rounds of Asian World Cup qualifiers over coronavirus crisis

The Al Bayt stadium in Qatar on Dec 17, 2019. It was built for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup soccer championship.
The Al Bayt stadium in Qatar on Dec 17, 2019. It was built for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup soccer championship.PHOTO: REUTERS

(REUTERS) - Fifa and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have agreed to postpone the Asian World Cup qualifying matches in March and June due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, the world football governing body said on Monday (March 9).

"Following consultation with Asia's member associations, Fifa and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have agreed to postpone the upcoming Asian qualifiers for the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022," Fifa said in a statement.

The matches were scheduled to take place during the international window of March 23-31 and June 1-9.

Fifa added that the matches could still go ahead if the member associations due to play each other mutually agree, subject to prior approval from both Fifa and the AFC.

Singapore are third in Group D of the Asian second-round qualifiers with seven points from five games, one point behind Saudi Arabia and two adrift of Uzbekistan.

The Lions' final three games are expected to be hit - away to Palestine on March 26, at home to Saudi Arabia on March 31 and away to Uzbekistan on June 4.