Tehran Times - Iran national football team could suffer a major blow if FIFA decides to hold the 2022 World Cup qualification behind closed doors.
Iran sit third in Group C, five points behind Iraq. The “Persian Leopards” could take advantage of their home matches against Bahrain and Iraq but the games will most likely be held behind closed doors due to coronavirus outbreak.
The Iranian fans have been always supportive of their national team in the home matches and the decision will surely lower the chance of Dragan Skocic’s team to book a place in the next stage.
The last four games of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) will be held in October and November. The second wave of the COVID-19 infection will hit rise in the fall, around October and November, when temperatures cool.
FIFA and AFC will most likely decide to hold the competition behind closed doors or neutral venue and both decisions will go against Iran football.
Iran must win four upcoming matches if they want to have a chance to experience the FIFA World Cup for the third time in a row.
The “Persian Leopards” are scheduled to host Hong Kong on October 8 in Tehran and meet Cambodia five days later in Phnom Penh.
Iran’s last two matches against Bahrain and Iraq - which are very crucial - will be against Bahrain and Iraq on November 12 and 17 in Tehran.
The eight group winners and four best runners-up will advance to the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Finals and the final round of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
The next best 24 teams from the second round of the joint qualifiers will compete in a separate competition for the remaining 12 slots in the 24-team AFC Asian Cup China 2023.