South-North match postponed until NovemberA World Cup qualifying match between South Korea and North Korea that would have taken place last week has been moved to November, the continental football governing body announced Friday.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC), in consultation with FIFA, unveiled new proposed dates for the regional World Cup qualifiers that have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the new calendar, matches that were scheduled for March will be played in October, and those set for June will take place in November.
The Koreas are paired in Group H of the second round of the qualifying campaign for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. It began in September 2019, and South Korea has played four matches, while the rest — North Korea, Turkmenistan, Lebanon and Sri Lanka — have each played five matches.
South Korea had been scheduled to host Turkmenistan on March 26 and then face Sri Lanka in Colombo five days later. Those matches have been moved to Oct. 8 and 13.
The highly-anticipated Korea showdown would have been played on June 4, with a South Korea-Lebanon match to follow Tuesday. They will instead be played on Nov. 12 and 17.
The latest match fixtures will hinge upon how well Covid-19 is contained in Asia in the coming months and whether travel restrictions are eased.
For countries that won't be able to host matches due to the coronavirus, playing in a neutral site could be an option, an industry source told Yonhap News Agency on Friday.
There are eight groups of five nations in the second round. The eight group winners and the four-best runners-up will advance to the third round.
South Korea, coached by Paulo Bento, is in second place in Group H with eight points from two wins and two draws. Turkmenistan is leading the way with nine points. Lebanon and North Korea both have eight points each, but trail South Korea in goal difference.