The knockout matches of the Asian Champions League will be played over single legs from the quarter-finals onwards because of the coronavirus pandemic, rather than the usual home and away format, the AFC said on Monday.
The quarter-finals and semi-finals will now take place in October in one centralised venue for the east and west zone respectively and the final will be played on November 23 in a venue in the west zone, rather than over two legs as originally planned.
The AFC however, didn’t announce the venues.
It said that the decisions were taken due to “the existing uncertainties related to the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the ongoing travel restrictions imposed across the continent.
Issuing a statement, the AFC said: “Taking into consideration the existing uncertainties related to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the ongoing travel restrictions imposed across the “continent, the AFC Executive Committee agreed that it was essential to minimize the travel frequency of the participating clubs, while underlining its continued commitment towards ensuring the safety and well-being of all players, teams, officials and key stakeholders.”
While the group stage for the west zone finished in April, the west zone group games will finish later this month.
On the other hand, the round of 16 is due to begin in September.