Nepal’s World Cup qualifier matches moved to KuwaitEarlier this month, the AFC had rescheduled Nepal’s home match against Australia from March to June after a formal request from Football Australia.
Nepal’s remaining home qualifying matches of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 joint qualifiers have been moved to Kuwait, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said on Friday.
The matches have been shifted to neutral venues owing to the travel restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Nepal were due to host their remaining matches against Chinese Taipei, Australia and Jordan at the Dasharath Stadium but now will travel to Kuwait, who have been confirmed as the hosts of Group B.
The AFC said that the decision to move the qualifier matches—scheduled to take place from May 31 to June 15—to “centralised venues” has been confirmed “following a process of close consultation with Asia’s Member Associations”.
Nepal lie fourth in the group with three points after five matches. In away matches, Nepal defeated Chinese Taipei 2-0, but lost to Kuwait 7-0, Australia 5-0 and Jordan 3-0. Their home match against Kuwait was shifted to Bhutan as Dasharath Stadium was undergoing renovation, which they lost 1-0. Australia lead the group with 12 points after four matches.
Earlier this month, the AFC had rescheduled Nepal’s home match against Australia from March to June after a formal request from Football Australia.
The AFC has confirmed China as the hosts of Group A, that include leaders Syria, Philippines, Maldives and Guam.
Bahrain will host the matches of Group C, which includes leaders Iraq, Islamic Republic of Iran, Hong Kong and Cambodia, while Saudi Arabia will stage Group D matches, which features Uzbekistan, Singapore, Yemen and Palestine.
World Cup hosts Qatar will welcome Oman, Afghanistan, India and Bangladesh in their Group E matches while Group F leaders Japan will host Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Myanmar and Mongolia.
The United Arab Emirates will host Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand for Group G and South Korea will host Group H rivals Turkmenistan, Lebanon, North Korea and Sri Lanka. Only the winners of the eight groups will advance to the third phase of qualifying.