February 24 – Australia and Qatar, the two non-South American teams due to take part in this year’s Copa America, have pulled out of the competition – the oldest in international football – because of scheduling conflicts caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
By Andrew Warshaw
February 12 – One of the most controversial takeovers in Middle East football has been dashed, at least temporarily, after the Israeli FA revealed that the sale of Beitar Jerusalem to Hamad bin Khalifa al-Nahyan, a distant member of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family, had been called off following a probe into his finances.
December 17 – With the Champions League in Europe taking a break until February, all eyes are on the final of Asia’s equivalent competition on Saturday when South Korea’s Ulsan Hyundai take on Iranian giants Persepolis in Qatar.
November 23 – China’s Beijing FC and Shanghai SIPG have both made perfect starts in their group stages of the Asian Champions League in Qatar, where the remaining 40 matches of the East Zone matches will be played.
By Andrew Warshaw
July 23 – The burgeoning political and diplomatic feud between Britain and China has spilled over into top-flight football with English Premier League games reported to have been pulled from Chinese state television (CTV).
February 3 – The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has called an emergency meeting of all its stakeholders – member associations, leagues, clubs and commercial parties – participating in the East Zone of the AFC Champions League to discuss the spread of the coronavirus.
By Paul Nicholson in Hong Kong
December 2 – The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) crowned their top players and highest performing member associations at a glittering Hong Kong awards ceremony last night that fused modern and traditional Hong Kong with a celebration of the best of Asian football.
October 9 – Saudi Arabia will stage another high-profile friendly between Brazil and Argentina in November as part of the Riyadh Season, the country’s General Entertainment Authority, headed by Turki Al-Sheikh, announced.
January 17 – Following weeks of protests over gender discrimination, thousands of women attended Wednesday night’s controversial Italian Supercup final between Juventus and AC Milan in Saudi Arabia – but all of them were reportedly chaperoned by men or accompanied by male children.
January 8 – Egypt has replaced Cameroon as hosts of this summer’s Africa Cup of Nations, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced today.
By Nigel Dudley
June 8 – President Trump hailed the decision by the Gulf states to isolate Qatar as the “end of terrorism” – and indeed was keen to take much of the credit himself.
May 12 – The Asian Football Confederation have called an Extraordinary Congress to be held in Goa, India, on September 27 to elect its three additional members to the newly established FIFA Council, including the required female representative.
By Mark Baber
April 21 – Speaking at a press conference to announce cooperation between the All-India Football Federation (AIFF) and France’s FC Metz academy over youth training, AIFF President Praful Patel (pictured) argued the blanket ban on sporting activities in Maharashta was unfair on football and revealed that the Indian Premier League (IPL) and I-League are to be merged in the near future.
By Samindra Kunti
February 23 – Mumbai City FC of the Indian Super League and Mumbai FC of the I-League encapsulate the growing schism in Indian football. Halfway the regular season the I-League is again suffering from a lack of exposure.
By Andrew Warshaw
February 19 – The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has scrapped its regional summit scheduled for the eve of next week’s FIFA presidential election in Zurich, fuelling the ever intriguing rumour mill and conspiracy theories over whether some kind of last-minute unexpected move is in the offing.