Owing to the continuous spread of COVID-19, the Emergency Committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has postponed the commencement of the group stages of the African 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers from June to September 2021.
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The development was made public through an official statement released on CAF’s website on Thursday, May 6, 2021. The number of COVID-19 patients has continued to surge in some African countries and CAF has made this move for safety reasons.
‘The CAF Emergency Committee, in consultation with FIFA, decided to postpone the CAF qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 that were due to be played in June 2021 after taking into consideration the current challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need to ensure the optimal playing conditions for all participating teams…The qualifiers will now take place in the existing windows of September, October and November 2021, and March 2022.CAF is reassessing its protocols and processes to enhance the implementation of COVID-related protocols, including specifically focusing on pre-match testing which had been the source of some challenges in previous windows. Full details on the updated match schedule will be provided in due course.’
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Pitched in Group C of the qualifiers, the Super Eagles of Nigeria will confront Cape Verde, Central African Republic, and Liberia. The first phase of the qualifiers will see the top teams in each of the ten groups, qualify for the final phase of qualifiers that will have them square off in a play-off to decide the five teams that will make it to Qatar 2022.
Featured Image Source: FIFA
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