FIFA and CAF agree to postpone Qatar 2022 world cup qualifiers

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By Edward Tumusiime

Uganda will not play the Kenya and Mali World Cup qualifying games in June after CAF emergency committee postponed the opening FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 African qualifier games.

Uganda is pooled in Group E alongside neighbours Kenya, Rwanda and Mali. Uganda was supposed to host the first home game against Mali between 11th and 14th June after opening their campaign away to Kenya on 5th to 8th June, 2021 but these games have been adjourned to September 2021.

Therefore Uganda will play the games in September, October and November 2021 in a bid to qualify for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. The final round will be played in March 2022 with the new dates yet to be communicated.

In the decision taken by FIFA alongside the Confederation of African Football today Thursday 6th May,  FIFA cited that the disruption was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Aside from COVID-19, qualifying matches in June had already been disrupted by a CAF decision this week that suspended many stadiums from staging national team games.

A total of 20 out of 54 countries that are in CAF, are now said to lack a stadium meeting the minimum requirements, including eight still involved in World Cup qualifying games.Those federations were asked to propose replacement venues in neutral countries which would add to cross-border travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

This change implies that Uganda Cranes’ games against the Amavubi of Rwanda with the first leg which was supposed to be in Kigali between 1st and 4th September and the return match in three days at Kitende will be played in October 2021.

The final game against Kenya at home and Mali away which were scheduled earlier for October will be played in November 2021.

This means Uganda will have a tight schedule with little time available for preparation in between the World Cup qualifying games compared to the previous arrangement.

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