African qualifiers for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 postponed

MADRID, SPAIN - AUGUST 25: FIFA World Cup Trophy is seen prior to the La Liga match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Rayo Vallecano de Madrid at Wanda Metropolitano on August 25, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

FIFA, in conjunction with the Confederation of African Football (CAF), has decided to postpone the African qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 that were to be played in June 2021.

The qualifiers are now scheduled to take place in September, October and November 2021, and March 2022.

FIFA and CAF said the current disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to ensure optimal playing conditions for all teams led them to make the move.

In a statement, CAF said it is reassessing its protocols and processes to enhance the implementation of COVID-related protocols, including specifically focusing on pre-match testing which had been the source of some challenges in previous windows.