Covid-19 forces rescheduling of ASEAN football tournament

By Dang Khoa   March 26, 2020 | 03:00 am PT
Covid-19 forces rescheduling of ASEAN football tournament
Vietnam (red) play Malaysia at the 2018 AFF Cup final in Hanoi, December 15, 2018. Photo by VnExpress.
The ASEAN Football Federation has decided to move the ASEAN Club Championship to next year and play the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Championship as scheduled in November.

In an official statement released Thursday, AFF President Khiev Sameth stated: "Since the risks of transmission of the disease at mass gatherings such as football events are high, we have made a considered decision to delay, and whenever necessary, to cancel our competitions to minimize social contact with the objective to protect the safety and health of our football family and communities."

The federation decided to have the 2020 AFF Cup, to be played in November as planned and will closely monitor future development of the virus to provide updates if necessary. Vietnam are the reigning champions.  

The AFF U15 Girls’ Championship in September, the AFF Futsal Championship, AFF Futsal Club Championship and AFF Beach Football Championship in the later part of the year will also take place as  planned.

AFF decided to push the ASEAN Club Championship (ACC), due to be played in May, to 2021 and postponed the AFF Women’s Championship in May, AFF U18 Women’s Championship in June, AFF U16 Boys’ Championship in July and AFF U19 Boys’ Championship in August to later this year. It did not announce the new dates.

In what was possibly the highest-profile postponement, the International Olympic Committee announced Tuesday that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, scheduled for July 24-August 9, have been postponed to no later than the summer of 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Many other regional sport events in Vietnam and neighboring countries have been postponed by the virus, including the F1 Grand Prix in Hanoi, Euro 2020, AFC Cup and the ASEAN Basketball League.

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