The recent outbreak of Covid-19 infections in Maldives and Syria meant both the national teams would have to undergo strict quarantine after arriving in China and will not be able to play as scheduled, the Chinese Foootball Association (CFA) said on Monday.
After the travel restrictions issued by China, it means that the World Cup qualifying matches, which were scheduled tp be held at the eastern city of Suzhou this week, will likely be shifed to the United Arab Emirates.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) later also issued a statement confirming a move from China.
However, it didn’t said where the next matches would be held.
‘The Asian Football Confederation decided to move the remaining centralized Group A matches . . .from China to a neutral venue, which will be decided and announced in the coming days,” the AFC said in a statement.
“The decision was made due to the mounting challenges faced by several participating teams in traveling to China . . . The AFC is now working in close partnership with the Chinese Football Association and potential neutral venues, as well as the participating teams to arrange for the safe passage and well-being of all stakeholders while reiterating its commitment towards ensuring the successful completion of the Asian qualifiers,” it added.
Maldives and Syria were scheduled to play Group A games in Suzhou.