Following yesterday’s Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Meeting in Kuala Lumpur to discuss the AFC Champions League 2020 matches in the East, Football Federation Australia (FFA) welcomes the decision of the AFC to reschedule matches from the first three match days involving Chinese clubs to April and May.
As a result, Perth Glory’s match against Shanghai Shenhua will now be played on 28 April and Sydney FC’s fixture against Shanghai SIPG will be played on 29 April.
These dates are at the conclusion of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season and were negotiated so as not to impact the race for positions in the final six (6).
Melbourne Victory will play their rescheduled Match day 3 fixture against Beijing FC on 26 May after the Hyundai A-League 2020 Finals Series.
Regarding Match days 4 - 6 hosted in China, the representatives also agreed that a deadline to assess the latest situation will be set 21 days before each match and if it is decided the game cannot go-ahead as proposed, the host club will have to nominate a neutral venue at least 14 days before the match day and also meet any quarantine requirements prevailing at the time.
The East Zone Round of 16 matches are proposed for June 16 and 17 with the return leg on June 23 or 24.
FFA Head of Leagues, Greg O’Rourke, attended the meeting on behalf of FFA and the participating Australian Clubs (Melbourne Victory, Perth Glory and Sydney FC) and believes that the decisions that have been made are in the best interests of all stakeholders and the AFC Champions League competition.
“Everyone who attended the meeting understands the gravity of this serious global health issue and whilst our wish is to play Football we will not risk the health and safety of those involved,” said O’Rourke
“We will continue to monitor the situation and work with the AFC, the Australian Federal and State Governments and our clubs to ensure that these matches can be played under safe conditions,” concluded O’Rourke.
The Emergency meeting was called in response to the impact on the AFC Champions League East of the coronavirus outbreak, which has now been declared as a global health emergency by the World Health Organisation.