September 11 – The AFC Cup, Asia’s second-tier club competition, has been cancelled for 2020. The AFC Solidarity Cup and the AFC Futsal Club Championship will also not take place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Asian Football Confederation also announced that there will be further delays to Champions League matches. “These are tough times for everyone connected with football — and sport in general,” said AFC president Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa.
After a virtual meeting of the executive committee, the AFC decided to invoke ‘force majeure’ due to the difficulty of coordinating the five zones and completing inter-zone matches in the AFC Cup. The confederation had planned to restart the competition in four different countries in October, but abandoned those plans over logistics and the coronavirus. Last year, Al-Ahed from Lebanon won the competition for a first time.
The AFC’s executive committee also confirmed the postponement of U-16 and U-19 championships which had been due to be hosted by Bahrain and Uzbekistan, to early 2021. The Solidarity Cup has been moved to 2024 and the Futsal Club Championship has been postponed by a year.
The Champions League, however, will resume on September 14 for the West Zone group stage in Qatar. Teams have been arriving in the Qatari capital, but the UAE’s Al-Wahda became a last minute casualty after several members of the Abu Dhabi club tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Matches in the East Zone, where Malaysia functions as the hub, will now be played between November 15-December 13 with the final to be played as a single match in the West Zone on December 19. The final had first been rescheduled for December 5.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1600637048labto1600637048ofdlr1600637048owedi1600637048sni@o1600637048fni1600637048