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UAE resume World Cup qualifying campaign against Malaysia on October 8

James Jose/Dubai
Filed on June 5, 2020
The Whites, who are currently fourth in Group G, have six points from four matches with two wins and two defeats. - Agencies

The UAE Football Association confirmed the dates but the venue for the home fixtures will be decided later

The UAE football team will resume their World Cup qualifying campaign against Malaysia at home on October 8, the UAE Football Association (UAEFA) confirmed on Friday.

The UAEFA and other member associations had held a meeting with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) via video conference on Wednesday and after coordinating with Fifa, the world governing body, decided to complete the joint qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup and the 2023 AFC Asian Cup in October and November.

And the UAEFA had revealed that matches will be played on October 8 and 13 with the next leg on November 12 and 17.

And on Friday, the UAEFA confirmed the dates for the four postponed matches.

The Whites, who are currently fourth in Group G, will host Malaysia on October 8 before travelling to face Indonesia on October 13. 

They next play Thailand on November 12 and Vietnam on November 17, with both the fixtures to be played at home, The UAEFA are yet to confirm the venue.

"According to the qualifying regulations, the stadiums for the matches will be determined two months before each match," the UAEFA said in a statement.

"The UAEFA will determine the venue for the match against Malaysia before July 31, while the venue for the fixtures against Thailand and Vietnam will be decided before August 31," the UAEFA added.

The UAE had previously played their two home fixtures at Al Nasr's Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai.

The Whites were at a crucial juncture in the joint qualification campaign. Their home fixture against Malaysia in Dubai on March 26, away game against Indonesia on March 31, as well as home matches against Thailand on June 4 and Vietnam on June 9 were postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The latest decision has been taken with a view to completing the Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 by November 2020 and to commence the subsequent Fifa World Cup 2022 Asian Qualifiers Final Round as well as the play-off matches for the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Round 3 Qualifiers by the March 2021 match dates in the Fifa International Calendar," the AFC said in a statement.

"The AFC will continue to monitor the situation closely to ensure the safety and wellbeing 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 ever-evolving impact of the COVID-19 pandemic," the Asian body added.

The UAE, who are without a coach after the FA parted ways with Serbian Ivan Jovanovic in April, have six points from four matches with two wins and two defeats.

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