AFC Cup canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic

The current edition of the AFC Cup, Asia’s second-tier club competition, has been cancelled amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the continent’s governing body for soccer said in a statement on Thursday.

The competition, in which teams from more minor nations in Asia participate, had been suspended since March due to the novel coronavirus crisis and was originally scheduled to resume this month in centralised venues.

“In view of the logistics in coordinating the five zones of the AFC Cup and completing the Inter Zone matches, the Executive Committee agreed that the pandemic created complexities which constituted a Force Majeure event and led to the cancellation of the 2020 competition,” the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said.

The AFC Champions League, the continent’s showpiece competition, has also been suspended since March but will resume in West Asia hub Qatar on Sept. 14.

East Zone matches are scheduled to be played between Nov. 15 and Dec. 13, 2020.

The final will be played in the West Zone on Dec. 19 as a standalone game rather than in the traditional home and away format.