India: World Cup qualifiers postponed, no national camp this month

India vs Qatar

The second-round 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup joint qualifiers, which was scheduled to be held in March and June 2020, has been postponed.

The Blue Tigers were scheduled to host Qatar in their sixth match of the qualifying round on March 26 but the match will now be played at a later date.

"For both FIFA and the AFC, the well-being and health of all individuals involved in football matches remains the highest priority, and as such, a formal proposal to postpone upcoming matches in the Asian FIFA World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 qualifiers will now be shared with the relevant member associations. FIFA and the AFC will provide an update on these fixtures in the coming days following consultation with the AFC member associations.

"FIFA will continue to monitor the situation in relation to COVID-19 in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO), the confederations and the member associations. Information on other international matches may be provided by the relevant confederation or member association,"read a statement from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). 

It is reliably learnt that the AFC will hold discussions with the relevant federations next week wherein the dates for the qualifiers will be decided. With the game against Qatar postponed, there will be no national camp held this month. 

Earlier this week, Indian national team head coach Igor Stimac had summoned 23 players for a camp that starts on March 9. He has also called up another 20 players to join on March 16, 2020, after the conclusion of the Indian Super League season. 

India are winless and have registered three draws after five rounds of fixtures in Group E. Qatar, who are unbeaten, are leading the group with 13 points and Oman are second with 12.