LIMA, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) — Peru head coach Ricardo Gareca on Friday called on the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) to postpone the region’s next round of FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
The 62-year-old said local clubs have been unable to train properly because of measures imposed by the authorities to stop the spread of the coronavirus. As a result, he said much of his squad would be unprepared for Peru’s clashes with Bolivia in La Paz on March 25 and Venezuela in Lima five days later.
“CONMEBOL has to ensure that all the teams are even, otherwise everything begins to be distorted. This is something that has to be considered,” the Argentine told a virtual news conference on Friday.
Peru are currently ninth in the 10-team CONMEBOL zone standings with just one point from their first four qualifiers. The top four teams at the end of the qualifying tournament will earn an automatic berth at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The fifth-ranked side will advance to an intercontinental playoff.
“The situation makes me reflect, but that reflection has nothing to do with resignation,” added Gareca, who led Peru to their first World Cup finals appearance in 36 years in Russia three years ago.