AFC Cup ASEAN Zone cancelled due to Covid-19

By Hoang Nguyen   July 7, 2021 | 01:52 am PT
AFC Cup ASEAN Zone cancelled due to Covid-19
Hanoi FC's midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai, a key player of the national football team. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa.
The 2021 AFC Cup ASEAN Zone, with Vietnamese clubs Hanoi FC and Saigon FC in the fray, has been cancelled due to Covid-19.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Wednesday decided to cancel all AFC Cup ASEAN Zone matches, including those of group G, H and I as well as knockout and playoff stages as the escalating Covid-19 pandemic in the region make it difficult to find centralized venues.

"As part of AFC's commitment to complete AFC Cup 2021 and as approved by AFC Executive Committee on July 5, 2021, the matches and groups of AFC Cup 2021 across the remaining zones will continue to maintain the overall structure of the competition giving due consideration to the existing format as well as the availability of centralized hosts in each zone," AFC wrote.

Central and West zone matches would commence as planned, between August and September.

The cancellation of AFC Cup ASEAN might be unfortunate news for Hanoi and Saigon, but on the bright side, they can have time to focus on V. League, which is set to return in late July.

Hanoi also have many key national football players, so not having to play AFC Cup would afford them more time to prepare for the final round of the World Cup qualifiers in September.

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