Dubai: The Coronavirus scare has forced the postponement of UAE’s remaining matches in World Cup 2022 qualifers, according to the UAE Football Association.
The decision was taken following emergency meetings held in Dubai and Doha between the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the member associations of the West Zone, as the continent’s football continues to be impacted significantly by the coronavirus outbreak.
Lying fourth in Group G, the UAE were scheduled to face Malaysia in Dubai on March 26 and then take on Indonesia away five days later. They round off the second phase of qualification with home matches against Thailand and Vietnam, originally scheduled to take place on June 4 and 9, respectively.
An announcement of the new dates is expected to be made “very soon”, according to the FA.
Following the precautionary measures implemented by Fifa and the AFC, the UAE Pro League has also made changes to the Arabian Gulf League fixtures dates as follows: Matchweek 20 shall take place on March 19-20, followed by matchweek 21 on April 3-4 and matchweek 22 on April 9-10, while matchweek 23 takes place on April 16-17.
The dates for the last three match weeks will be confirmed based on the position of teams competing for the title and to avoid relegation to the first division.