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AFP
June 4, 2020

Asian football getting ‘closer’ to return

Sports

AFP
June 4, 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: Asia’s Champions League is getting closer to a return but it will have to wait until domestic competitions are back in action, a senior football official told AFP on Wednesday.

Football is gradually resuming around the world after closing down because of the coronavirus, although most leagues are still yet to return. Asian Football Confederation general secretary Windsor John said: "We are approaching closer to the return of football."

"We have to wait for all the domestic leagues to start first," added John, when asked about the return of the AFC’s club tournaments. The AFC Champions League, Asia’s top club competition, and the second-tier AFC Cup have both been on hold since March, along with World Cup and Olympic qualifiers. Of the 12 countries involved in the Champions League, South Korea is the only league back in action, with four more restarting in June or July and Thailand scheduled for September. John said the AFC was "still in discussion" about when its competitions will restart, declining to reveal a possible date. Time is tight for both club tournaments, with the 32-team Champions League needing to complete four rounds of group-stage matches before reaching the knock-out phase. The Champions League and AFC Cup finals are both scheduled to take place in November.