In an exclusive interview with the Malaysian national news agency — know as BERNAMA — AFC secretary-general Datuk Windsor Paul John revealed interesting informations.
February 15 will be a key date for two reasons:
- It’s the deadline for the teams to give their decision to the AFC. If they are able to host and play, the AFC will ask them to provide further informations including the location of the game.
- Then the AFC will contact the opponent teams in order to know if they can play or not.
Some Federations have already explained that it will be complicated for them to host a game in March. Football Australia said that the game against Kuwait is “unlikely” to be played in March.
In this case, the AFC is clear: the games can be played in June. « June is the deadline given by FIFA to complete round two. »
The next question is to know if the remaining games can be played in a centralized venue or not.
In the Group G, BERNAMADA reported that Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia have agreed to play the remaining games in the United Arab Emirates in June, but Vietnam are yet to give an approval. The idea of a centralized venue is therefore possible.
What about Lebanon’s group? There is a risk for the health of the Lebanese squad and staff to play on March 30 in Turkmenistan, a country which denies the existence of the COVID-19.