World football body FIFA confirmed on Thursday that the 2022 World Cup qualifiers scheduled for Africa during June have been postponed until September due to the coronavirus and stadiums not meeting international standards.
There will now be double matchdays in September, October and November with the 10 group winners advancing to the final round next March.
Africa has been allocated five places at the 32-nation tournament in Qatar, which has been moved from its traditional mid-year setting to November and December because of extreme summer heat.
Had two matchdays been staged in June, Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Namibia, Niger, Senegal and Sierra Leone would not have been able to stage qualifiers.
The main stadiums in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya and Uganda were also ruled out, but they had alternate venues capable of hosting internationals.
Recently elected Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Patrice Motsepe from South Africa has prioritized improving poor facilities and pitches at many national stadiums.