The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has cancelled this year’s edition of the AFC Cup.
Initially, AFC Cup matches were suspended during March due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and since then the centralized groups stage matches had been scheduled to kick off in October. Under the preparations, matches in the group stage of the South Asian zone were scheduled to be held in the Maldives.
The cancellation comes in light of major concerns leaning towards the lack of hosts for most of the group stage matches, as many countries do not wish to host the matches at a time the globe is locked in a battle with the pandemic which surfaced in China’s Wuhan City in December 2019.
In this regard, the governing body’s competition committee held a virtual meeting through which recommendations led to the cancellation of the competition.
Further, the committee reached the decision to cancel the AFC Solidarity Cup and the AFC Futsal Club Championship as well.
However, the AFC Champions League deemed Asia’s “showpiece” competition, is set to resume on September 14, with East-Zone matches scheduled from November 15 to December 13. The final will be held on December 19 as a “standalone game” as opposed to the tradition home-and-away game.
Maldives secured the bid to host AFC Cup Group E matches and the matches were scheduled to kick off on October 23, through November 4. Maldives clubs Maziya Sports and Recreation as well as TC Sports were to join the matches alongside Bashundhara Kings and Chennai City.
In a previous group stage, Maziya and TC had competed against Bangladesh and India on March 12. TC lost to Bashundhara Kings 5-1 while Maziya tied with Chennai City FC 2-2.