Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 9 July 2020

UAE's remaining 2022 World Cup qualifiers rescheduled for October and November

The Football Association confirmed the fixtures following a video meeting with the Asian Football Confederation on Wednesday

The UAE will resume their 2022 World Cup qualification campaign later this year, with their remaining four Group G fixtures played across October and November.

The Football Association confirmed the fixtures, postponed because of the coronavirus, following a video meeting with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Wednesday.

Mohammed Hazzam Al Dhaheri, the FA general secretary, said the qualifiers would now be played on October 8 and 13, and November 12 and 17. The decision was taken following consultation with Fifa.

Currently fourth in a five-team Group G, the UAE sit five points off leaders Vietnam, although they do have a game in hand over each of their rivals. They have still to play Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam at home, and Indonesia away. The matches were originally scheduled for March and June.

Of course, the UAE are still without a manager since they have yet to appoint a successor to Ivan Jovanovic, who was dismissed in March despite not taking charge of a match. The Serbian was appointed on a six-month contract in December, replacing Bert van Marwijk.

The FA had been waiting on confirmation of the rescheduled qualifiers before pushing on with its search for a new manager. It is understood there are currently four possible candidates for the role.

The future of the 2020 Asian Champions League was also discussed at Wednesday’s meeting, with the AFC committed to concluding its marquee club competition.

Postponed in March in the early stages of its group phase, plans are in place to complete all remaining 99 matches across the West and East zone, with September to November most likely to complete the groups and knockout stages up until the semi-finals.

The final would then take place in early December, leaving its winner free to participate in the Fifa Club World Cup later that month.

Updated: June 4, 2020 11:01 AM

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