❗- Concacaf's October WCQ dates at risk of postponement
Future options to be discussed reportedly include a 'bubble' in the United States.
Kurt Schorrer/FIFA via Getty Images
The start of Concacaf’s World Cup qualification process is likely to be delayed, according to multiple reports from Central America.
Those reports indicate the presidents of the region’s member associations are set to have a call Tuesday or Wednesday to discuss the next steps.
“The dates for October have been suspended. The FIFA window for October has been suspended,” El Salvador federation president Hugo Carrillo said over the weekend, going on to say El Salvador already has advocated for both the October and November windows to be postponed.
Some of the options on the table would be easier to execute than others. One idea is simply to delay the start of the qualification process until the next FIFA window in which it is feasible to conduct games. Currently, matches between the winners of the five-team groups drawn earlier this month are set to take place in March 2021.
However, Ricardo Icaza of TVMax reports there also is an option to do a two-week bubble in the United States in November in which the 30 teams in this round of qualification would play all four of their games.
Other reports say there would be one bubble in Texas and another in Florida - both states which have high numbers of COVID-19 cases but also are allowing sporting events to take place with limited numbers of fans.
With many nations in this round of qualification currently utilizing restrictions on who can enter as they look to keep their nations COVID-free or with very few cases, the United States’ relatively open policy and the ease of flying in from places like Europe where many players are based could make things logistically more simple than playing matches in markets.
However, it also would require fast work from embassies and other officials to secure visas for players who do not currently have them, something likely to complicate things for more than a few countries taking part in the process.
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