Coronavirus Outbreak: Asia's football body officially cancels AFC Cup, postpones Champions League matches
The region's second-tier club competition has been frozen since March, and is due to resume next month in four host countries. However, three of the nine groups remain without a home.
Kuala Lumpur: Asia's football body on Thursday cancelled this year's AFC Cup because of the coronavirus pandemic —and also announced further delays to Champions League matches in what it said were "tough times" for the sport.
The Asian Football Confederation had hoped to restart its long-delayed Cup competition in October in four host countries, but following a meeting of the executive committee on Thursday they blew the whistle on the plans.
"These are tough times for everyone connected with football — and sport in general," said AFC president Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa.
Officials also said some matches in the Champions League—the region's showpiece tournament, which resumes next week in Qatar —would be further delayed.
The single-leg final will now take place on 19 December. Officials previously said it would take place on 5 December.
East Zone group matches, originally scheduled from mid-October to early November, will now be played from 15 November to 13 December.
Officials had already announced that West Zone group games will be in Qatar this month, while matches in two of the East Asia groups will be played in Malaysia.
Other venues are yet to be announced.
Following the unprecedented decision to postpone the competition in March last year at the start of the pandemic, the health crisis is not over and COVID-19 will continue to cast a shadow over this European Championship.
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