Thinley Namgay

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has recently decided to resume the second round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifiers matches in October considering the impact of the Covid- 19 pandemic.

These FIFA qualifiers also serve as the second round of 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.

A total of 40 teams (top 34 teams based on FIFA ranking and six selected from the first round) from eight groups were competing in the second round since September 5, last year. However, the matches were postponed due to Covid-19 since March.

Currently, Syria, Australia, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Qatar, Japan, Vietnam, and Turkmenistan are the group winners. A total of 16 matches will be played on October 8 in different host countries.

The second round will complete on November 17. The third round will feature 12 teams consisting of eight group winners and four best runners up. All the 46 teams under the AFC took part in the first round of the competition.

2022 FIFA World Cup will take place in Qatar featuring 32 teams, and there are five slots for the Asian teams.

2023 AFC Asian Cup in China would feature 24 teams. Those 12 teams who booked the third-round spot in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers will automatically qualify for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup.

A total of 24 teams including 16 teams which advance directly and eight teams which advance from the additional playoff round will participate in the third round of 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualification to decide the remaining 16 teams. 

Popular European football league such as English Premier League, Serie A, Bundesliga, and La Liga have also resumed.

Major women’s sporting events have also started, and some are yet to begin. German’s women’s Bundesliga has already started since May 29.

The National Women’s Soccer League in the United States will start on June 27 without spectators.

After suspending all the sporting events for nearly four months,  the Bhutan national football team resume their training yesterday in a closed door. The Bhutan Football Federation also begun ground booking for the local players on June 20, but the players have to follow the precautionary measures.