SAO PAULO, July 10 (Reuters) - The first games in the South American qualifying competition for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar have been moved back to October from September, soccer’s global governing body FIFA said on Friday.
The first double header of games organised by the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) was due to be played between Sept. 3-8 this year but will now take place between Oct. 8-13.
“Taking into account the outcome of the discussions held in the COVID-19 FIFA-Confederations Working Group, the CONMEBOL Council has today requested FIFA to include a replacement international window in January 2022 in the International Match Calendar in order to complete the South American qualifiers in March 2022,” FIFA said in a statement.
The 2022 World Cup will take place in November and December due to the high summer temperatures in Qatar.
All 10 South American teams play each other home and away in the regional qualifiers. The top four qualify automatically and the fifth-placed side goes into a playoff.
Reporting by Andrew Downie Editing by Toby Davis