The matches of the first continental competition were suspended since last March, which caused a large accumulation before the start of the West Asian matches with the pool system in Qatar, starting from September 14.
The matches of two groups from the East Asia region will be held in Malaysia from October 16, but the whereabouts of the other two groups from the East in addition to the playoffs have not been announced yet.
Two rounds were held before the closure period due to Corona, while Chinese clubs, where the virus first spread, did not play any matches at home.
But the Secretary-General of the AFC, Dato ‘Windsor John, said in an interview with Agence France-Presse that the tournament will be completed before the end of the year, “We remain committed and confident to complete the competition during the year 2020.”
He indicated that additional information about Al-Sharq matches will be announced after the Confederation’s Executive Council meets next week.
The final match is scheduled to take place on December 5.
The pandemic continues to spread globally, while many Asian countries are seriously affected by the outbreak of the virus.
But John said the Champions League could be safely restarted: “We have committed with our medical experts to many guidelines and best medical practices to reduce risks.”
In response to a Japanese report indicating that the AFC called for an additional postponement of the competition, John confirmed that he was “confident” to end it this year.
Similar to the qualifying rounds in the Champions League, which was held in Lisbon, Portugal, Qatar welcomes clubs from the West in a mini-tournament.
In Lisbon, players were subjected to strict rules, which included extensive testing and not allowing players to leave their hotels without permission.
And whether Asian football will be disrupted again next year, John replied that the confederation is working on the 2021 calendar, but the priority for safety factors “We will not hesitate to take difficult decisions if the need arises.”
John also ruled out concerns about the use of the video technology “Farr” scheduled for the quarter-finals for the first time.
He pointed out that the technology was used in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup and the continent’s rulers have become accustomed to it. “The AFC has a strong track record in implementing the“ VAR ”system.
In mid-July, the AFC had chosen Qatar to host Western matches with the grouping system for the remainder of the group stage in which 32 teams participated until the semi-finals “during the period from September 14 to October 3, 2020”, following a request in this regard submitted by Doha.
The group stage will be completed between September 14 and September 24, provided that the play-off rounds (from the final price to the semi-finals) will be held in a one-match system instead of the home and away matches, and that is between September 26 and October 3.
The final match (also from one round) will be held on the fifth of October, with places to be decided in a later period.
As for the second club competition, the Federation Cup, the group stage will be completed as of September 23, provided that the final match will be held on December 12, according to the same formula for the parent competition.