Dubai: The AFC Govt Committee has introduced contemporary updates to the 2020 competitions calendar after the UAE’s Al Wahda grew to become a last-minute COVID-19 casualty from the West Zone qualifying rounds of the AFC Champions League on Thursday.
“Al Wahda have knowledgeable the Asian Soccer Confederation (AFC) that they’re unable to journey to Qatar to compete within the AFC Champions League (West), the place they presently occupy second place in Group A, after a number of members of the membership examined optimistic for COVID-19,” learn an announcement from the Asian Soccer Confederation.
“The AFC has written to the United Arab Emirates Soccer Affiliation (UAE FA) to tell them that the request by the UAE FA and the membership for a postponement of the Group matches can’t be accommodated due to the superior preparations by which many groups have already travelled to Qatar for the competitors.”
The AFC had determined to organise two separate competitions in centralised places to avert the consequences of the continuing pandemic. Accordingly, Doha and Kuala Lumpur had been chosen to host the rest of the group matches for the West and East areas, respectively.
With Al Wahda unable to make the journey to Doha, the variety of groups from the UAE now slips down to a few — Al Ain, Sharjah and Shabab Al Ahli Dubai — in Group D, C and B, respectively.
In line with the foundations and rules of the competitors, Al Wahda should forfeit their matches and “the matter will now be referred to the related AFC Committees for a call in accordance with the relevant rules”.
The UAE soccer season that was scheduled for a kick-off final Thursday (September 3) with the opening spherical matches of the Arabian Gulf Cup, had been postponed simply 24 hours earlier than kick-off, for no less than one month.
Within the AFC Champions League motion, Al Wahda had been seen to be among the many finest groups in Group A as they had been tied for the highest spot with Al Ahli of Saudi Arabia with an similar 4 factors. And whereas Shabab Al Ahli and Al Ain are but to register their first factors in Group B and D respectively, league champions Sharjah have a lone level and but sit on the backside of Group C chasing Saudi Arabia’s Al Taawoun (6 factors), Qatari aspect Al Duhail (Three factors) and Iran’s Persepolis (1).
In the meantime, the AFC Champions League East Zone matches, that had been deliberate to restart in mid-October, have now been rescheduled to be performed between November 15 and December 13, the AFC associated after its Govt Committee assembly.
The ultimate of the 2020 AFC Champions League that will likely be performed within the West Zone on December 19 will likely be a single match, reasonably than within the conventional residence and away format.