World Cup qualifiers in Hong Kong pushed back amid coronavirus outbreak

Photo: Fifa World Cup / Facebook
Photo: Fifa World Cup / Facebook

Two World Cup qualifying matches due to take place in Hong Kong will now be postponed thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak.

According to a statement published by football’s world governing body, FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation held a meeting on Thursday, and decided to postpone upcoming matches in the Asian FIFA World Cup 2022, and the AFC Asian Cup 2023 qualifiers.

No new date for the postponed matches was given. Hong Kong was due to play against Iran on March 26, Iraq on March 31, and Bahrain on June 9.

The news came after it was announced that the eighth edition of the Affordable Art Fair, due to take place at the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Centre in May, would be pushed back to August amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The fair, which attracts thousands of visitors each year, showcases local and international galleries, with artworks priced between HK$1,000 to HK$100,000 (US$129 to US$12,900).

Both the World Cup Qualifiers and Affordable Art Fair join a string of events that have been canceled or rescheduled, because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Earlier this week, the authorities announced that the annual Cheung Chau Bun Festival — whose highlights include the annual bun scramble — would be canceled.

Last week, it was announced that Marilyn Manson’s first-ever Hong Kong performance, due to take place in March, would be canceled. Hong Kong’s highest-profile sporting (and drinking) event of the year, the Rugby Sevens, announced it would be postponed until October due to the coronavirus. Meanwhile, Art Basel has called off its annual Hong Kong fair, and the Hong Kong Arts Festival cancelled its 48th outing.


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