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Canada Soccer cancels upcoming men, women's international friendlies

Canada Soccer has canceled upcoming international friendly matches for the men and women’s teams in British Columbia due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The men’s national team were scheduled to play Trinidad & Tobago on March 27 and March 31 at Westhills Stadium on Vancouver Island.

The women’s national team were set to play Australia at BC Place on April 14.

“As the national governing body for the sport of soccer in the country, Canada Soccer has been and will continue to closely monitor all COVID-19 developments in consultation with the Public Health Agency of Canada and relevant governing bodies through the Canada Soccer Sport Medicine Committee,” Canada Soccer said in a statement.

The canceled matches could have an adverse affect on the CanMNT’s hopes of reaching the hexagonal stage of FIFA World Cup qualifying in Concacaf.

In the new setup, the six highest-ranked Concacaf nations in the June 2020 FIFA World Rankings will proceed, while the region’s other 29 teams will duke it out for one shot at a playoff against the Hex’s fourth-place finisher.

As of the most recent FIFA rankings, Canada are No. 73, four positions below El Salvador, the sixth-ranked Concacaf team with 14 points separating the two. Trinidad are 105th in the FIFA rankings.

Under the rankings system FIFA has used since 2018, each result gains or loses a team points based on the game’s importance and the opponent’s relative strength.