COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lankans soccer officials have welcomed a FIFA decision to advance its team to the next round of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers after removing Macau for its refusal to travel to Sri Lanka because of security concerns over the recent terror attacks.
Anura de Silva, president of the sport's governing body in Sri Lanka, said Saturday that they had made all arrangements to host the qualifier before Macau informed them of their decision not to travel to Sri Lanka.
FIFA says its disciplinary panel ruled Macau, which won the first leg in Macau 1-0, must forfeit the second leg 3-0 for failing to play. The Macau federation was also fined 10,000 Swiss francs ($10,000).
Sri Lanka joins a 40-team lineup in the next stage of World Cup qualifying.
The Easter Sunday bomb attacks in Sri Lanka on April 21 killed more than 250 people.
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