With football being resumed all around the world, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), in consultation with FIFA, are set to resume its joint FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Qualifiers later this year.
Matchdays 7 and 8 of the Philippine Azkals and the rest of Asia are set to happen on the 8th and 13th of October, 2020 respectively while matchdays 9 and 10 are due to kick off on the 12th and 17th of November, 2020.
As per the AFC’s statement through their website, the latest decision has been taken with a view to complete the second round of the preliminary joint qualification by November 2020 and commence the subsequent FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Asian Qualifiers Final round as well as the play-off matches for the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Round 3 qualifiers by March 2021 match dates in the FIFA International window.
They will continue to monitor the situation closely to ensurethe safety and well-being of all teams, officials, fans and stakeholders as well as Government travel and medical restrictions and will notify all parties should there be a need to reassess the match schedules due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Philippines were supposed to have their home game against Guam last March 26th, their pivotal away match against China last June 4th and return leg of their match against Maldives on the 9th of June but was then cancelled due to COVID-19.
The Azkals are currently in third place in group A of the joint World Cup and Asian Cup qualifiers where Syria remains unscathed with five wins and +10 on goal difference. With the Philippines being tied with China on points, they need to win all of their remaining matches and to be one of the four best runners-up in order to progress to the next round.