The AFC Executive Committee decided, in its video meeting on Thursday, to cancel the 2020 AFC Cup,
due to the repercussions of the new Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“In light of the logistics of coordinating the five regions of the AFC Cup and completing the matches of the regions,
the AFC Executive Committee agreed that the pandemic created complications that constituted a force majeure,
which sadly led to the cancellation of the 2020 competition,” the Continental Union said in a statement.
Hashim Haidar, a member of the Executive Committee and president of the Lebanese Federation,
told AFP on Wednesday that “the executive committee will consider the recommendation of the competitions committee to cancel the tournament.”
The tournament was suspended after two rounds of the first round in March, following the outbreak of the Coronavirus (Coved-19).
The Continental Federation has tried to resume the tournament,
adopting the assembly system, with matches to be held between October and November.
It was agreed that Bahrain, Kuwait, and Jordan would host the Western groups,
and Vietnam the sixth and seventh groups,
but none of the countries had applied to host the rest of the “fourth, fifth, eighth and ninth” groups.
The Continental Union previously revealed in a book addressed to the national federations that participate in the tournament that it received a request from its Bahraini counterpart to postpone the holding of the first group competitions, which include the teams Manama host,
the Lebanese covenant holder titleholder, and the Palestinian Hall of Jerusalem and the Syrian army.
“Following the announcement of the postponement of the AFC competitions in March and April 2020,
the Federation plans to resume the FA Cup after intensive talks with the member federations and other key stakeholders to complete the new format and dates of the competition,
which will be played despite the existence of multiple restrictions due to the global epidemic,” the book said.
“There have been no concerns about hosting each of the sixth, seventh and eighth groups in the ASEAN region,
in addition to the fact that the AFC is unable to complete the identification of the host federations of the fourth groups – central and ninth – East, while the Bahrain Federation,
host of the first group, demanded that the competition be postponed to 2021.”
“Based on the challenges referred to, the AFC will refer the matter to the relevant committees for consideration and decision,
and the resulting content will be communicated with the member federations,” he said.
The Lebanese era was crowned champion in the last edition by beating 25 April North Korea 1-0 in the final match hosted by the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur instead of Pyongyang.