AFC Cup schedules postponed until April over coronavirus fears

February 12 – The Asian Football Confederation has been forced to postpone all AFC cup matches due to be played in East Asia until April because of concerns over the coronavirus.

The two-month suspension comes after several countries imposed travel restrictions in reaction to the  outbreak, which has killed more than 1,000 people in China with more than 40,000 cases diagnosed worldwide.

“Taking into consideration the overall logistical arrangements as well as match preparations of the East Zone participating clubs, the AFC has decided that… the AFC Cup 2020 (East Zone) preliminary, playoff and group stage matches will be postponed and will recommence on April 7, 2020,” an AFC statement said.

It added that the home and away games between Mongolia’s Ulaanbaatar City and Taipower Company of Taiwan had already been postponed because of travel restrictions.

Teams from Hong Kong and Macau are also among those affected by the postponement in what is Asia’s second-tier competition.

The AFC has already had to reschedule AFC Cup matches involving Vietnamese clubs Ho Chi Minh City FC and Than Quang Ninh FC as a result of the vurus. The decision was taken after the Vietnamese government issued a blanket ban on sporting events in the country during February which has already led to the rescheduling of Vietnam Super Cup, V.League 1, V.League 2 and the Vietnamese National Cup.

The top-tier AFC Champions League has also been affected, with matches featuring Chinese clubs delayed until the spring.

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