The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has postponed the remainder of the group stages of the AFC Cup due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
"Following the imposition of further preventive measures and travel restrictions by several national governments due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, the Asian Football Confederation has decided today to postpone all AFC Cup 2020 matches until further notice," the AFC said in a statement on Wednesday.
The decision was basically an extension of the earlier postponement made by the AFC last week, which only covered the matches in the West Zone.
"The latest decision applies to all matches in March and April across the five AFC zones," the statement read. “The AFC will closely monitor the situation before deciding when to recommence the 2020 AFC Cup season."
The AFC said the postponement is a precautionary measure “to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all participating players and teams, match officials and spectators as well as designed to protect the integrity of the competition".
The two Philippine representatives in the tournament, reigning Philippines Football League and Copa Paulino Alcantara champion Ceres Negros, and league runner-up Kaya Iloilo, are in good positions to at least have a shot at making the knockout stages of the AFC Cup ahead of the second round of the group stages in the Asean Zone.
Ceres Negros is on top of Group G with seven points, followed by Than Quang Ninh of Vietnam.
On the other hand, Kaya Iloilo is second in Group H with five points, two behind Tampines Rovers of Singapore.
Kaya Iloilo, however, can still make the knockout rounds assuming Tampines Rovers would go on to win Group H if it ends up as the best second placer.
Kaya Iloilo is likewise two points behind joint Group F leaders Ho Chi Minh City and Yangon United in the wildcard race.
Source: Philippines News Agency