FIFA have confirmed that Asian qualifying matches for Groups A and C in the Olympic Football Tournament London 2012 will take place with simultaneous kick-offs during the final Matchday on 14 March.
Wednesday’s penultimate round left qualification berths available in all three groups, however concurrent kick-offs are not required in Group B as both potential qualifiers – Uzbekistan and United Arab Emirates – will meet each other.
The three group winners qualify automatically for London 2012, with the three runners-up to advance into a play-off. The play-offs will be held in Vietnam, March 25-29, with the winner to face African representative Senegal in Coventry, England on 23 April, one day prior to the Official Draw at Wembley Stadium.
Korea Republic are Asia’s only confirmed participant as Group A winners. The Koreans confirmed their seventh consecutive participation this week with a win in Oman to move four points clear at the top. Oman, who have a one point lead over Qatar, travel to Saudi Arabia while their rivals face Korea Republic away.
Japan are in the ascendency in Group C with a three point margin over both Syria and Bahrain. Japan therefore require just a point against Bahrain at home to book passage to London 2012, while Syria are at home to Malaysia with goal difference a potential factor in deciding which teams progress.