Will the Indian football team’s matches be affected by the Coronavirus scare?

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COVID-19, or Coronavirus is by far the most talked about topic in the world these days, and is affecting anything and everything all around the world, to the extent of a situation where the 2020 Tokyo Olympics may be postponed or outright cancelled to maintain the health of the athletes. India has seen thousands of people being suspected to carry the virus, and more than 30 being has been officially carrying the virus.

FIFA has recently put a proposal to postpone all World Cup qualifiers, originally scheduled to be held in June and July, to a later date. The decision, if taken, will obviously affect the Indian National Football Team, who are scheduled to contest Afghanistan, Qatar and Afghanistan in the original schedule. The proposal can only become reality if it is accepted by a majority of members of the AFC.

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“For both FIFA and the AFC, the well-being and health of all individuals involved in football matches remains the highest priority, and as such, a formal proposal to postpone upcoming matches in the Asian FIFA World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 qualifiers will now be shared with the relevant member associations,” maintained an official statement by FIFA. “FIFA and the AFC will provide an update on these fixtures in the coming days following consultation with the AFC member associations,” it further added.

Indian coach Igor Stimac had already asked for a preparatory camp with 43 probables selected to be a part of the camp. But under such circumstances, where a postponement is imminent, the future of the camp looks bleak at best.

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India was scheduled to play Asia Cup champion Qatar at the Kalinga Stadium on March 26 along with games against Bangladesh and Afghanistan, which were supposed to be played on June 4 and June 9. October 8, November 12 and November 17 have been proposed by the FIFA and the AFC to be postponed dates for the fixtures.

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