OSLO: Norway’s national football team will play their first home World Cup qualifying game at a neutral venue in Spain next month because of travel restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Norwegian football federation said on Tuesday the game against Turkey on March 27 will be played in Malaga instead of Oslo. No fans will be allowed to attend.

Norway will begin their World Cup qualifying programme with a game at Gibraltar on March 24 before going to Spain to play Turkey three days later. The group also includes the Netherlands.

The change in venue is the first in European qualifying to be forced by travel and quarantine rules.

In Asia, only four World Cup qualifiers are going ahead next month involving only eight of the 40 teams still involved. The rest of the program has been postponed to June because of current health protocols.

FIFA has extended exemptions in mandatory release rules amid the pandemic so players worldwide can be refused permission by their clubs to join up with national teams.

Norwegian club Molde played a Europa League home game in Spain last week, hosting Hoffenheim in Villarreal. The Spanish football federation had to approve both changes.

Published in Dawn, February 24th, 2021

Opinion

Winds of change?
Updated 10 Apr 2021

Winds of change?

Could the new cabinet fuel a renewed effort by the government to delve deeper into the real afflictions of governance?
Troubled waters ahead
Updated 09 Apr 2021

Troubled waters ahead

Rising inflation and depleting political capital are the most obvious reasons.

Editorial

10 Apr 2021

Greater tax burden

THE FBR’s tax target of Rs6tr for the next year under the IMF-mandated fiscal adjustment policies will increase ...
UK travel ban
Updated 10 Apr 2021

UK travel ban

Pakistan continued to allow passengers to arrive without quarantine requirements.
10 Apr 2021

IS in Mozambique

IT was not too long ago when the dreaded shock troops of the self-declared Islamic State group were rampaging ...
09 Apr 2021

Improving ties with Russia

RUSSIAN Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov struck the right tone during his visit to Pakistan. In a press conference...
Forces’ criticism bill
Updated 09 Apr 2021

Forces’ criticism bill

No one is above criticism, including the senior leadership of our security apparatus.
09 Apr 2021

ODI series triumph

WEDNESDAY’S victory over South Africa at Centurion has brought Pakistan a much-awaited overseas ODI series ...