The Asian Football Confederation has announced North Korea has pulled out of qualification for the 2022 World Cup, Report informs referring to AP.
“The (AFC) has today confirmed the withdrawal of the DPR Korea Football Association from the Asian Qualifiers,” the AFC said in a statement on May 16.
Pyongyang has not yet given an official reason for pulling out of next month’s qualifiers for the tournament, to be held in Qatar in November and December 2022, but South Korean media has reported that it is because of concerns over COVID-19.
Due to the spread of the virus, there have been no qualifiers in Asia since November 2019 and in order to reduce travel as the games resume, the AFC has ruled that all group matches in the second round of qualification will be played in hubs.
South Korea is scheduled to host North Korea, Turkmenistan, Lebanon and Sri Lanka in Group H qualifying matches from June 3-15 in the city of Goyang, just north of Seoul.