South American football's governing body Conmebol said on Thursday it will ask FIFA to delay the start of the region's qualification campaign for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The first two rounds of qualifying games due to begin later this month have already been postponed as all football leagues in South America have been shut down over the deadly virus. Conmebol said in a statement it was taking "extreme precautions ... in line with the recommendations indicated by international authorities regarding public health."
The first two rounds were due to be played on March 26-27 and March 31 but Fifa previously granted Conmebol a postponement.
But with all South American countries under various degrees of lockdown as the coronavirus spread has started to accelerate in the region, Conmebol doesn't want to try rescheduling those games before the next round in September.