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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

China, Japan to face-off in Doha for Asian World Cup qualifier match


China is set to face Japan in the Asian qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup after the match was moved to Doha due to Covid-19 concerns.

China will go up against Japan in Doha after the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) switched the crucial match to the Qatari capital amid concerns over Covid-19 infections.

This means that Team Dragon will lose their home advantage for the 2022 World Cup qualifying match that was set to be on 7 September.

“The decision of a neutral venue was made due to the challenges faced by the Chinese Football Association (CFA) in organising its home matches in light of the travel restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic,” the AFC said in a statement on Friday.

“The AFC is now working in close partnership with the CFA, Japan Football Association as well as the Qatar Football Association to ensure the safe passage and wellbeing of all stakeholders,” the AFC added.

China was scheduled to play its first away game against Australia on 2 September in Sydney, however the fate of the match is still up in the air.

Read also: Qatar para-athletes head to Tokyo 2020 Paralympics

Australian officials confirmed that Doha may also stage this match after officials were not able to get the necessary player quarantine and travel bubble exemptions from governments to schedule the match at Sydney’s Bankwest Stadium.

The AFC has yet to confirm this venue change.

According to Chinese media outlets, Team Dragon will head to Doha on 26 August and will prepare for the challenge of going head to head with group favourites Japan and Australia.

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