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Asia's top club football tournament to resume in Oct. for S. Korean teams

All News 15:54 July 09, 2020

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, July 9 (Yonhap) -- Asia's top club football competition is scheduled to resume in October, after eight months of delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced revised fixtures for the AFC Champions League on Thursday.

The annual competition, with eight groups of four clubs in action, kicked off in February but was put on hold after a couple of matches due to the COVID-19 outbreak across the continent.

In this file photo from Feb. 19, 2020, Yeom Ki-hun of Suwon Samsung Bluewings (R) shakes hands with Andres Iniesta of Vissel Kobe following their Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League Group G match at Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon, 45 kilometers south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

Four South Korean clubs qualified for this year's AFC Champions League: FC Seoul in Group E, Ulsan Hyundai FC in Group F, Suwon Samsung Bluewings in Group G and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in Group H. These four teams played two group matches apiece in February.

The AFC said Groups E to H, with clubs from South Korea, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, China and Japan, will return to action on Oct. 16 and wrap up their group play on Nov. 1.

The top two teams from each group will qualify for the knockout stage.

Groups A to D are made up of teams in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Qatar and Uzbekistan. They will play the rest of their group matches in September.

All of the remaining group matches will take place in neutral venues to be determined later.

Also, all knockout matches, including the championship final, will now be one-and-done affairs, instead of the usual home-and-away series where the aggregate score determined the winners.

This file photo from Feb. 19, 2020, shows mask-wearing fans attending an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League match between the home team Suwon Samsung Bluewings and Vissel Kobe at Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon, 45 kilometers south of Seoul. (Yonhap)


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