KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — The Asian Football Confederation says groups for the next round of World Cup qualifying will be drawn in Kuala Lumpur instead of Qatar on July 17.
One of the 40 places is still unclear after the Macau soccer federation refused to send its team to Sri Lanka for a game this month, citing security concerns after terrorist attacks in April. Macau held a 1-0 lead from the first leg.
The AFC says a decision from the FIFA disciplinary committee “is still pending.” Macau risks forfeiting the game as a 3-0 loss.
The draw is for eight five-team groups. They will start play in September and finish next June.
Group winners and the four best runners-up will advance to the final qualifying round. Four teams will then qualify for the World Cup in Qatar. Asia can qualify another team in an intercontinental playoff round.