FIFA has officially cancelled the 2nd leg of the Sri Lanka v Macau FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 1 encounter.
The match was scheduled to be played on 11th June at 3.30pm at the Sugathadasa Stadium, Sri Lanka.
The decision was confirmed through a media release by the Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL). The release stated,
With the official announcement by the Macau FA to FIFA of their decision not to travel to Sri Lanka, FIFA has now officially cancelled the above match which was to be played tomorrow 11 June in Colombo.
Earlier, Macau FA had requested FFSL, FIFA & AFC to play the above match in a neutral venue citing security concerns after Easter Sunday terrorist attacks. However, FFSL stood firm to confirm that Sri Lanka is safe and the special security plans that were put in satisfied both FIFA & AFC.
- Macau players quit National Team in protest
- Macau refrains from traveling to Sri Lanka
- AFC & FIFA has accepted our security plans to play – FFSL
- We’ll try our level best with the youngsters – Packeer Ali
The statement goes onto say,
Sri Lanka Football wanted to use this occasion to show the world that ‘Sri Lanka is Ready’ to host any international event and to stand together with all communities as one to show solidarity to sports [sic]. It was an effort to show everyone that Sri Lankans are still living in harmony and peace with each other except few isolated minor incidents.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) too has released a statement which said,
The Asian Football Confederation have been informed today by the Macau Football Association that their national team will not travel to Sri Lanka for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 1 second leg match scheduled for Colombo tomorrow. The AFC will now refer this matter to FIFA and the appropriate AFC committees.