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AFC promises to complete 2020 Champions League

KASHIMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 14: The AFC Champions League logo (Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images)

The Asian Football Confederation has said it is “committed” to completing this year’s Champions League, after discussing the matter with member federations during online meetings yesterday.

The confederation gathered responses from the federations on proposals it had made to complete the tournament before the start of the Fifa Club World Cup, scheduled to be held in Qatar in December. It will now propose a format and dates for the matches for a “final review”, after which they must be approved by the AFC Competitions Committee.

There are 99 games left to be played in the Champions League. 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. In planning for the restart the AFC stressed that the safety and well-being of all stakeholders was of the highest priority.

The finals of both the Champions League and second-tier tournament the AFC Cup are slated to take place in November.

The confederation is hosting online meetings this week with member federations to agree a format to complete the AFC Cup. It spoke to West Zone federations on Tuesday, and is following that up with meetings with the South, Central, ASEAN and East zones.

The AFC is now waiting for comments from member associations on the restart suggestions after which the proposal will be submitted to the AFC Competitions Committee for their approval.

Meanwhile, the Football Federation Australia has announced the return of competitive regional lower-league football, with spectators allowed in stadiums.

Two matches will be played at Darwin Football Stadium this Friday, June 5. Crowd numbers will be restricted to 500 to maintain social distancing requirements. They will be among the first football matches in the world to played in front of a crowd since Covid-19 restrictions were implemented.

The matches will be shown live on FFA’s Facebook page, Twitter account and the MyFootball YouTube channel.