KUALA LUMPUR: The Asian Football Confederation has postponed its annual congress, scheduled for Kuala Lumpur on April 16, because of the coronavirus crisis.
Last week FIFA converted a council meeting due to be staged in Asuncion, Paraguay, into a video conference with optional attendance in Zurich; European federation UEFA is going ahead with its own annual congress in Amsterdam next Tuesday.
As for the Asian confederation, an AFC statement explained:
Following the unavoidable postponement of the AFC Audit and Compliance, Finance and Legal Committee meetings as well as the AFC Executive Committee meeting because of heightened health concerns and travel restrictions, it was agreed that the Congress will take place at a later date that will be decided by the AFC Executive Committee.
Earlier this week the AFC summoned emergency meetings next week with both national associations and leagues from both the East and West regions. The meeting of the East Zone representatives will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Monday and the West Zone meeting will follow on March 7 and 8.
General secretary Dato’ Windsor John said: “These are unprecedented and challenging times, but the AFC is working tirelessly to monitor the situation, including the various travel restrictions, while being in constant contact with our Member Associations, Leagues and Clubs.
“We are grateful for the support we have received from all our stakeholders, including our Commercial and Broadcast partners and agencies, as we try to protect the safety and well-being of all our players, officials and spectators while also ensuring the integrity of the competitions.”
The AFC has also been working with FIFA to assess the potential impact on upcoming qualifying matches for the 2022 World Cup and 203 Asian Cup. These are scheduled for next mionth.
As a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, the following matches will be postponed to later dates:
AFC Champions League:
Match Day 3
March 2, 2020 (West):
Group A: Al Wahda FSCC (UAE) v Esteghlal FC (IRN);
Group C: Persepolis FC (IRN) v Al Taawoun FC (KSA)
March 3, 2020 (West):
Group B: Shabab Al Ahli Dubai (UAE) v Shahr Khodro FC (IRN);
Group D: Sepahan FC (IRN) v Al Nassr (KSA)
March 3, 2020 (East):
Group E: FC Seoul (KOR) v Chiangrai United (THA)
Match Day 4
April 6, 2020 (West):
Group D: Al Nassr (KSA) v Sepahan FC (IRN)
The AFC is also working on alternative dates in April 2020 for the two-legged Women’s Olympic Qualifying Final Round play-off between Korea Republic and China PR, which was originally scheduled to take place on March 6 and 11, 2020.