AFC lays out plans to complete 2020 club competitions

Fans of Yokohama F.Marinos cheer prior to during the AFC Champions League Group H match between Yokohama F.Marinos and Sydney FC at Nissan Stadium on February 19, 2020 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)

The AFC Champions League will restart in two regional hubs in September and October, the Asian Football Confederation said today (Thursday).

In April, the AFC announced an indefinite postponement of all matches and competitions scheduled to take place in May and June due to travel restrictions imposed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The AFC Champions League will resume, in yet-to-be confirmed centralised venues, in West Asia on September 14 and East Asia on October 16, with the AFC Champions League final slated to take place on December 5.

All of the planned group-stage matches will be played in full while the knock-out rounds will now consist of single match ties, as will the final of both competitions. There are 99 games left to be played in the AFC Champions League.

The second-tier AFC Cup competition will also resume in centralised venues in different regional zones beginning on September 23 with a single-game final scheduled for December 12.

AFC General Secretary Windsor John said: “Notwithstanding the challenging times, I am delighted that we are seeing more encouraging progress on the return of many domestic Leagues to the field and with them comes an expectation that we can conclude both the AFC Champions League and the AFC Cup in the coming months.”

Leagues in South Korea, Vietnam and Japan have recently returned while the Chinese Super League is set to resume behind closed doors on July 25.