Inaugural ASEAN Club Championship postponed until next year because of coronavirus

ASEAN Club Championship

The much-anticipated inaugural edition of the ASEAN Club Championship (ACC) has been rescheduled to 2021 due to the COVID-19 situation, the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) has confirmed. 

The ASEAN Club championship was to feature 12 clubs from countries across Southeast Asia and carried a lucrative prize money of US$ 500,000 for the winners. It was touted to be the second biggest football competition in ASEAN after the biennial AFF Suzuki Cup.

“With the ACC having been slotted into 10 match days over five months in the regional schedule, it’s now clear that with the prevailing conditions and the pending rescheduling of many AFF national leagues and AFC competitions, yet to be decided, that there will not be sufficient time to complete the inaugural championship this year. All members can now plan for the launch in 2021,” the AFF said.

The AFF also said that it has postponed four other regional competitions to a later date in 2020 due to the coronavirus situation. These include the AFF Women’s Championship to be held in the Philippines and the AFF U18 Women’s Championship, AFF U16 Championship and AFF U19 Championship all to be hosted by Indonesia.

However, the 2020 AFF Suzuki Cup, scheduled for November this year, will go ahead as planned. So will the AFF U15 Girls’ Championship, AFF Futsal Championship, AFF Futsal Club Championship and AFF Beach Football Championship to be held later in the year.

“These are unprecedented times for the whole world, including our football family and communities, but we will get through it together. However, getting through this will require all of us to play our part,” AFF president Khiev Sameth said in the statement.

“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,” he added.