FIFA president Gianni Infantino has revealed on Friday that the successive postponements to 2022 World Cup qualifiers caused by the Covid-19 pandemic could cause a shortening of the format.
The South American qualifiers, due to start in March, have been postponed until next month.
Meanwhile, six match days have been postponed in the marathon Asian qualifying competition.
According to AS, here’s what Infantino told reporters following the FIFA Congress: “I am concerned and it’s obviously a real problem, especially if the pandemic doesn’t stop or let up, or we don’t start playing in a normal way,” Infantino told reporters following the FIFA Congress. “We are in the hands of the health authorities.”
Infantino said that soccer’s world governing body had opened a extra window for international matches in January 2022 and would look at finding room for more, something which could upset European clubs who would have to release their players.
An alternative could be to play three matches instead of two during an international window, or stage qualifiers in a single venue instead of home or away.
He added that the November/December slot for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar at least gave FIFA some breathing space.