Coronavirus: CONMEBOL asks FIFA to delay World Cup qualifiers until September

CONMEBOL is eyeing a September start to 2022 World Cup qualifying amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Argentina's Lionel Messi (L) and Brazil attacker Philippe Coutinho (R).

Argentina's Lionel Messi (L) and Brazil attacker Philippe Coutinho (R).   -  Getty Images

CONMEBOL has asked FIFA to postpone qualifying for the 2022 World Cup until September due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The start of the South American qualifiers were scheduled to begin on March 26, however, the fixtures were suspended amid the COVID-19 emergency.

Now, with the world struggling to contain the virus, South American football's governing body is eyeing a September start.

"By doing this, the confederation ensures all precautions are taken against the global and regional spread of the coronavirus, in line with the recommendations of international health authorities," CONMEBOL said in a statement following a meeting of its executive board via a video conference call on Thursday.

In the opening round of qualifying, Copa America champion Brazil is due to host Bolivia, while Lionel Messi's Argentina faces Ecuador.

The 2020 Copa America has already been postponed until 2021 in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

The new dates for the 2021 Copa America are June 11 to July 11.

Globally, more than 10,000 people have died from almost 245,000 cases.

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