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Coronavirus: CONMEBOL asks FIFA to postpone World Cup qualifiers until September

By Sacha Pisani

Sao Paulo, March 20: CONMEBOL has asked FIFA to postpone qualifying for the 2022 World Cup until September due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The start of the South American qualifiers were scheduled to begin on March 26, however, the fixtures were suspended amid the COVID-19 emergency.

Now, with the world struggling to contain the virus, South American football's governing body is eyeing a September start.

"By doing this, the confederation ensures all precautions are taken against the global and regional spread of the coronavirus, in line with the recommendations of international health authorities," CONMEBOL said in a statement following a meeting of its executive board via a video conference call on Thursday (March 19).

In the opening round of qualifying, Copa America champions Brazil are due to host Bolivia, while Lionel Messi's Argentina are to face Ecuador.

The 2020 Copa America has already been postponed until 2021 in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

The new dates for the 2021 Copa America are June 11 to July 11.

Globally, more than 10,000 people have died from almost 245,000 cases.

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Story first published: Friday, March 20, 2020, 7:40 [IST]
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