Japan thumped Mongolia 14-0 at the Fukuda Denshi Arena on Tuesday to close in on the third round of Asia's qualifying tournament for the 2022 World Cup finals.

The win was Japan's second-biggest ever, behind their 15-0 thrashing of the Philippines in 1967, and leaves them needing victory against Myanmar in June to advance to the next phase.

Liverpool forward Takumi Minamino, who has spent the second half of the campaign on loan with Southampton, opened the scoring after 13 minutes before Werder Bremen's Yuya Osako scored the first of his three goals.

Daichi Kamada and Hidemasa Morita added their names to the scoresheet and Khash-Erdene Tuya put into his own net before half-time in the one-sided affair, which was played behind closed doors in Japan due to quarantine restrictions in Mongolia.

Osako's second goal arrived 10 minutes into the second half and substitute Sho Inagaki hit the designated away side's seventh with 68 minutes on the clock.

Kyogo Furuhashi and Junya Ito then added two more apiece, with the latter also setting up three of his side's goals.

The final three goals arrived in added time, with Inagaki completing the drubbing against a side ranked 190th in the world following a quickfire double from Takuma Asano and Osako.

 

FIFA has proposed that teams will be allowed to use five substitutes per match due to a congested schedule when competitions resume.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought the vast majority of leagues to a halt and the Eredivisie is among those to have been cancelled.

Teams are facing a fixture pile-up when they finally return to action and FIFA hopes to ease players' workload by permitting an additional two changes during a match, or six substitutions in total if games go to extra time.

Organisers would have the option to implement the new temporary rule until the end of next season, while it would also apply to national team matches up to and including December 31, 2021.

A spokesperson for the world governing body said: "When competitions resume, such competitions are likely to face a congested match calendar with a higher-than-normal frequency of matches played in consecutive weeks.

"Safety of the players is one of FIFA's main priority then. One concern in this regard is that the higher-than-normal frequency of matches may increase the risk of potential injuries due to a resulting player overload.

"In light of this and in light of the unique challenge faced globally in delivering competitions according to the originally foreseen calendar, FIFA proposes that a larger number of substitutions be temporarily allowed at the discretion of the relevant competition organiser.

"In competitions where less than five substitutions are currently allowed, each team would now be given the possibility to use up to five substitutions during the match, with the possibility of an additional substitution remaining during extra time, where relevant."

Clubs will not be forced to release their players for international duty in March and April amid the coronavirus crisis, with FIFA recommending fixture postponements.

Football has largely come to a standstill worldwide as associations attempt to combat the spread of a virus that has already led to over 5,000 deaths.

The Champions League and Europa League have notably been suspended, along with each of Europe's top five leagues.

Fixtures in MLS, the Scottish Premiership and the English Football League are also all off.

The Premier League, Serie A and LaLiga have paused play until after the scheduled upcoming international break, while the Ligue 1 season has been postponed until further notice.

International football now appears unlikely to continue, too, as clubs - usually powerless to prevent call-ups – have received permission to keep their players following a FIFA Council decision.

FIFA will not impose the postponement of all forthcoming fixtures but is encouraging such measures.

A statement read: "FIFA understands that to hold the matches under current circumstances might not only present potential health risks to players (and to the general public) but would also, most likely, compromise the sporting integrity of such matches insofar as certain teams may be deprived of their best squads whilst others may not.

"To avoid any unnecessary health risks and also situations of potential sporting unfairness, we therefore recommend that all international matches previously scheduled to take place in March and April should now be postponed until such time that they can take place in a safe and secure environment, both for players and for the general public.

"The final decision on this issue rests with the respective competition organisers or relevant member association in case of friendlies."

World Cup qualifiers in Asia and South America have already been pushed back, along with the cancellation of some international friendlies.

UEFA is yet to call off the Euro 2020 play-offs set for the coming weeks, although the tournament's existing schedule appears to be in doubt ahead of a meeting next Tuesday.

Coronavirus continues to have a huge impact on the sporting calendar. 

Further measures to prevent the spread of the virus were taken on Monday, affecting a plethora of sports and leagues.

More events were subject to postponements, while the sight of games taking place in empty arenas will be a common one in the coming weeks.

Here we look at the sporting decisions announced on Monday as the world attempts to tackle the outbreak.

 

Italy - All sporting activity in Italy was suspended until April 3 by the country's Olympic Committee, in a decision pending government ratification. In a statement, the committee conceded it does not have jurisdiction over international competitions such as the Champions League and Europa League.

France - Ligue 1 games are now required to be played behind closed doors or with a limit of 1,000 fans until April 15. Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League last-16 second-leg clash with Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday will be contested behind closed doors at the Parc des Princes.

France - The Six Nations finale between France and Ireland, due to take place at the Stade de France on Saturday, is postponed. England's game with Italy was already off, meaning it is unclear when the winner of the competition will be determined. Scotland's game with Wales in Cardiff is on, and Gregor Townsend's men can move into first place with a win. England and France are level on 13 points, with Ireland on nine having seen two games postponed.

United States - The ATP's Indian Wells Masters and WTA's Indian Wells Open were both cancelled following a confirmed case of the virus in Riverside County, California.

United States - According to ESPN, the NBA is to hold a conference call with the 30 team owners and governors to discuss the next steps for how it handles the spread of the virus in the USA, where there have been 213 confirmed cases.

Asia - FIFA confirmed the AFC qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup, which were scheduled to take place in the international windows of March 23-31 and June 1-9, have been postponed.

Switzerland - Basel announced on Monday that the second leg of their Europa League tie with Eintracht Frankfurt, set to be contested on March 19, cannot be played at their St Jakob Park home due to coronavirus-related restrictions. Switzerland's top-flight, the Super League, is suspended until March 23.

Japan - The postponement of the start of the Nippon Professional Baseball regular season was confirmed at a media conference on Monday.

United States - IndyCar is not expecting any impact on its 2020 schedule as a result of the outbreak.

France - Rugby League side Catalans Dragons are waiting for an official decision from the Perpignan prefecture or government regarding Saturday's Super League game with Leeds Rhinos after the country's ban on gatherings of more than 1,000 people.

The upcoming AFC World Cup qualifiers have been postponed due to the spread of coronavirus.

FIFA announced on Monday that, following consultation with the AFC and Asia's member associations, matches scheduled to take place in the international windows of March 23-31 and June 1-9 will take place at later dates.

A statement from FIFA added: "However, in order to support the member associations concerned, and provided that the safety of all individuals involved meets the required standards and that the member associations due to play each other mutually agree, the match(es) may still be played during the international windows of March or June 2020, but always subject to prior approval from both FIFA and the AFC."

Hosts Qatar are already qualified for the 2022 World Cup. Syria, Australia, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Qatar, Japan, Vietnam and Turkmenistan top the groups in the second round of AFC qualifying.

There have been 109,343 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide, with 3,809 deaths. China, the source of the outbreak, has 80,904 confirmed cases, South Korea has 7,382 and Iran 6,566.

FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) are to propose that the upcoming Asian World Cup 2022 and Asian Cup 2023 qualifiers are postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The next Asian qualifiers for the World Cup in Qatar were due to be staged on the final week of this month but are now set to be called off.

A FIFA statement released on Thursday revealed that an update on the fixtures will follow "in the coming days" after consultation with AFC member associations.

The next batch of Asian Cup qualifiers were also slated for this month but are similarly in line to be postponed due to the virus, which originated in China, that has killed over 3,000 people.

"FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) met at the Home of FIFA to discuss football activities in Asia." a FIFA statement read.

"For both FIFA and the AFC, the well-being and health of all individuals involved in football matches remains the highest priority, and as such, a formal proposal to postpone upcoming matches in the Asian FIFA World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 qualifiers will now be shared with the relevant member associations.

"FIFA and the AFC will provide an update on these fixtures in the coming days following consultation with the AFC member associations.

"FIFA will continue to monitor the situation in relation to COVID-19 in cooperation with the World Health Organisation (WHO), the confederations and the member associations.

"Information on other international matches may be provided by the relevant confederation or member association."

Li Tie has been appointed as the new coach of China's national team, the Chinese Football Association has confirmed.

He replaces Marcello Lippi after the veteran Italian quit last November following a defeat to Syria in World Cup qualifying.

Lippi's second spell lasted just six months and Li will now be charged with leading China towards Qatar 2022.

His first match in charge will be against the Maldives on March 25 with China lagging eight points behind Group A leaders Syria, although they have a game in hand.

Li was part of the China squad that qualified for the 2002 World Cup, their only appearance at the tournament to date.

As a player, he featured for Everton in the Premier League and was in caretaker charge of China at December's EAFF E-1 Football Championship, where they lost two of their three games.

Marcello Lippi has resigned as China head coach after taking responsibility for a 2022 World Cup qualifying defeat to Syria.

China remain in the hunt for the third round of AFC qualification, having thrashed Guam and the Maldives while drawing with Philippines, but they were beaten 2-1 by Group A leaders Syria on Thursday.

Zhang Linpeng scored an own goal 14 minutes from time to settle the match, leaving Lippi dismayed by both the result and the performance, swiftly announcing his departure.

"I don't want to talk about this game," he told a news conference.

"A team should give everything on the pitch. The tactics of the head coach should be carried out. If the player is afraid of losing the game, then there is no fighting spirit, desire, guts.

"It is my responsibility, the head coach's responsibility – although we defeated Guam and the Maldives. But the team we played against today is better, more coordinated and more organised than us. 

"My annual salary is very high, and I am fully responsible for this loss. Now I declare that I have officially resigned."

Veteran coach Lippi, who guided Italy to World Cup glory in 2006, had only been appointed China boss for a second time in May.

Lippi was coach from October 2016 to January 2019, before returning when replacement Fabio Cannavaro ​– his World Cup-winning captain – promptly left.

Australia made it four wins from four in the second round of World Cup qualifying as Adam Taggart secured a 1-0 win away to Jordan.

The Suwon Bluewings striker scored the only goal of the game after 13 minutes in Amman to put the Socceroos five points clear at the top of Group B.

Graham Arnold's men were given a scare in the second half, most notably when Tareq Khattab headed wide from close range, but they held firm to take a significant step towards claiming the automatic qualifying spot for round three.

Australia went ahead from their first shot of the match, with Taggart running on to Jackson Irvine's throughball and finishing past the onrushing Amer Shafi.

Irvine spurned a good chance for a second when he side-footed over the bar after Aaron Mooy's corner was flicked on at the right-hand post.

The Socceroos were fairly comfortable until the break but suddenly came under pressure early in the second half, with Mousa Suleiman shooting narrowly wide and Mat Ryan making a good block to deny Yaseen Al Bakhit from a tight angle.

Khattab then spurned a glorious chance to equalise, heading wide of the left-hand post when left completely unmarked by a static Australia defence.

Ryan produced a brilliant save to keep out Hamza Al-Dardoor's header before Al Bakhit shot straight at the keeper in injury time, as Jordan suffered their first Group B defeat and missed out on the chance to leapfrog Australia at the top.

What does it mean? Socceroos bounding clear

Victory puts Australia five points clear of Jordan at the top of Group B, with a perfect 12-point return.

They are firmly on course to secure a place in the next phase of qualifying ahead of their meeting with Kuwait in March.

Clinical Taggart the difference

This was far from the free-scoring Australia that dismantled Chinese Taipei 7-1 last month, but Taggart made no mistake with his one goalscoring opportunity, and he completed all four of his attempted passes before being taken off 20 minutes from time.

Khattab miss costly

Khattab was caught out for the goal by Irvine's fine throughball and missed the best of Jordan's chances to equalise in the second half..

What's next?

Australia's next scheduled outing is a home qualifier against Kuwait on March 25. Jordan are in action on November 19 at home to Chinese Taipei.

Kenneth Dougall could make his Socceroos debut later this month as Tom Rogic and Martin Boyle were also named in a 24-man Australia squad for a World Cup qualifier against Jordan.

Barnsley midfielder Dougall, 26, is the only uncapped player in the squad for the clash in Amman on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Celtic playmaker Rogic and Hibernian attacker Boyle – who is back from a knee injury – are also part of the squad.

Australia head coach Graham Arnold has opted for a slightly extended squad due to star attacker Mathew Leckie awaiting the birth of his second child.

"There are a few minor injury issues with some players who were part of our successful October window – including Mark Milligan, Jamie Maclaren, and Mustafa Amini – so we felt it was important to select players that physically will hit the ground running in Amman," Arnold said in a statement on Friday.

"Overall, I am delighted with the strength and balance of the squad that we have selected to play Jordan next week.

"We will have three training sessions together before the match, and with competition for places for every starting position I expect I will have to make some tough decisions."

The Socceroos have won their opening three matches to hold a two-point lead over Jordan atop Group B.

Australia: Adam Federici (Stoke City), Andrew Redmayne (Sydney FC), Mathew Ryan (Brighton and Hove Albion); Aziz Behich (Istanbul Basaksehir), Milos Degenek (Red Star Belgrade), Rhyan Grant (Sydney FC), Josh Risdon (Western United), Trent Sainsbury (Maccabi Haifa), Brad Smith (Seattle Sounders), Harry Souttar (Fleetwood Town), Bailey Wright (Bristol City); Kenneth Dougall (Barnsley), Ajdin Hrustic (Groningen), Jackson Irvine (Hull City), James Jeggo (Austria Vienna), Aaron Mooy (Brighton and Hove Albion), Tom Rogic (Celtic); Brandon Borrello (Freiburg), Martin Boyle (Hibernian), Apostolos Giannou (AEK Larnaca), Craig Goodwin (Al-Wehda), Mathew Leckie (Hertha Berlin), Awer Mabil (Midtjylland), Adam Taggart (Suwon Bluewings).

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