March 20, 2020 / 2:08 AM / 8 days ago

South America eyes September start for 2022 qualifiers

FILE PHOTO - Soccer Football - 2022 World Cup - African Qualifiers Draw - Nile Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Cairo, Egypt - January 21, 2020 General view of the FIFA World Cup Trophy REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

(Reuters) - The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) said in a statement it has asked FIFA for permission to begin the qualifying rounds for the 2022 World Cup in September.

The first games in the 10-team round robin group were supposed to start next week but were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The top four South American sides qualify automatically for Qatar and the fifth-placed side go into a play-off.

Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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