Soccer-China's World Cup qualifier with Japan moved to Doha

HONG KONG (Reuters) - China's World Cup 2022 qualifier against Japan on Sept. 7 has been switched to Doha, the Asian Football Confederation announced on Friday.

The match was due to be played in China but has been moved due to stringent quarantine restrictions put in place by authorities as they continue to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

The game is the second of China's qualifiers to be relocated after Australian officials said earlier this month that the Sept. 2 game against the Socceroos, originally scheduled for Sydney, would have to be played overseas.

A new venue for that game, when the countries kick off the final phase of Asia's final round of preliminaries for the 2022 World Cup, has yet to be announced.

China, Japan and Australia have been drawn in Group B of the continent's third round of qualifying for the World Cup alongside Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Oman.

The top two qualify for Qatar 2022 alongside the leading pair from Group A, while the third-placed teams enter a series of playoffs for a possible fifth place for Asian countries.

(Reporting by Michael Church; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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