Jamie Maclaren and the Socceroos will have to wait to resume their Cup qualifying quest.
Jamie Maclaren and the Socceroos will have to wait to resume their Cup qualifying quest.

Socceroos Cup qualifiers on hold as virus bites hard

AUSTRALIA'S charge towards booking their automatic ticket to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar has been put on hold due to the outbreak of coronavirus.

The Socceroos' final four matches of the group phase were scheduled to take place during the international window of March 23-31 and June 1-9.

"Following consultation with Asia's member associations, FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have agreed to postpone the upcoming Asian qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022," FIFA said in a statement.

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Top of Group B following four consecutive victories, Graham Arnold's men were to face Kuwait in Perth on Thursday. March 6, before travelling to take on Nepal on Tuesday, March 31.

They were to wrap up with home games on Thursday, June 4 against Taiwan and then Jordan five days later at yet to be decided venues.

FIFA added that the matches could still go ahead if the member associations due to play each other mutually agree, subject to prior approval from both FIFA and the AFC.

Australia have qualified for five World Cups, including the last four. FIFA and the AFC have also agreed to postpone the AFC Futsal Championship in Turkmenistan, which serves as the qualifiers for the FIFA Futsal World Cup in Lithuania, until 5-16 August 2020.


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