Asian football official says tournaments will continue despite pandemic

Stephan Schrock (L) and the PH Azkals will resume their AFC campaign soon as everything will be put to place (Giuseppe Cacace)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Asia’s major football tournaments will look to push through this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic but may have to be played behind closed doors.

Windsor John, general secretary of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), said that he is highly-sure that both the AFC Champions League and AFC Cup will finish this year.

John emphasized that even though football operations will still resume at least by the end of June due to the pandemic, the schedule for both major football tourneys will still have enough time to end this year.

However, the final schedule for both tournaments was still not released, with AFC officials saying that the schedule will be finalized after April.

John also said that if the health authorities will require them a closed-doors format for safety purposes amid the pandemic, they will abide, for sporting reasons and to fulfill commercial obligations.

Originally, both tourneys’ finals are scheduled in November with a four-round group-stage match format.

As of now, tournament officials are still looking to consider the original format and are confident that all games will be finished this year.