AFC clubs get back in the groove: CSL clubs begin friendlies, Iran restart scheduled

June 10 – South Korea’s K League was the first of the world’s major domestic leagues to return to action during the coronavirus pandemic. It is now being joined by other top national leagues across the Asian Football Confederation.

In Vietnam the V.League resumed with defending champions Hanoi FC earning a 3-0 victory over Hoang Anh Gia Lai, while league leaders Ho Chi Minh City FC were held to a goalless draw by Hai Phong.

Turkmenistan’s Yokary Liga completed a full round of fixtures last weekend with last season’s runners-up Ahal beating bottom-placed Energetik 5-0. Ahal remain two points adrift of Altyn Asyr, who beat FC Ashgabat 1-0.

Elsewhere the Cambodian federation announced that their top flight will resume on the weekend of July 4 – 5. Uzbekistan’s Super League will return with a full seven-match fixture list starting this Saturday. The Jordanian FA has said it’s top tier will resume in August while the Lebanese are targeting September.

Tajikistan’s competition – which had previously been one of the only active leagues in Asia prior to its suspension in late April – will resume on June 16, with matches to played behind closed doors.

The Kyrgyz Premier League is yet to nail down a return date, but training sessions for football, futsal and beach soccer clubs have been greenlighted. The league had seen most clubs manage to play just one match before the shutdown in March.

Two of the AFC’s footballing superpowers are also taking significant steps to a return.

Last weekend four of the Chinese Super League clubs were in friendly action with Beijing FC, Shandong Luneng and Shanghai SIPG recording wins over Tianjin Teda (5-0), Taizhou Yuanda (2-1) and Qingdao Huanghai (4-2) on Friday.

On Saturday the Guangzhou derby saw defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande defeate Guangzhou R&F 2-1, also a friendly.

Iran, arguably the hardest hit of the AFC’s nations by the coronavirus, has moved the reopening of IR Iran’s Pro League back by just under a week, with league authorities announcing June 24 as the new kick-off date.

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1624418513labto1624418513ofdlr1624418513owedi1624418513sni@n1624418513osloh1624418513cin.l1624418513uap1624418513

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