KUALA LUMPUR – The remaining matches of the Group A of World Cup Asian qualifiers will be staged in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) confirmed on Tuesday.

The UAE’s football association has agreed to host the centralized Group A matches of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023, the Asian football governing body said.

“The remaining seven matches in Group A, which comprises leaders Syria, China, Philippines, Maldives and Guam, will be held at the Sharjah Stadium, with the match schedule to be confirmed in the coming days after discussions with the participating teams, taking into consideration their arrival schedules to the UAE,” AFC said.

The Chinese Football Association (CFA) announced on Monday that the remaining matches will be moved from Suzhou, China to UAE. It said as the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Maldives and Syria, the teams from the two countries will have to be under strict quarantine upon their arrival in China according to the pandemic prevention measures, which means they are not able to compete on schedule.

UAE will also provide the backdrop for the matches in Group G, which consists of the host as well as challengers Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, scheduled to take place from June 3 in Dubai.