The continental governing body of the sport is yet to take their final decision on South Asian Zone (Group D) games.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has confirmed that all matches of the AFC Cup 2021 ASEAN Zone, comprising Groups G, H and I as well as the Playoff Stage have been cancelled due to the challenges imposed by the global pandemic in finding a suitable host to stage the centralised matches.
As part of the AFC’s commitment to complete the AFC Cup 2021 and as approved by the AFC Executive Committee on July 5, the matches and groups of the AFC Cup 2021 across the remaining Zones will continue. This will maintain the overall structure of the competition giving due consideration to the existing format as well as the availability of centralised hosts in each Zone.
Therefore, the AFC Cup Knockout Stage Central, West and Inter Zone single-leg ties will continue to be staged as planned. The Central Zonal Final between Uzbekistan’s FC Nasaf and FC Ahal from Turkmenistan is scheduled to take place on August 25. The Markaziy Stadium in Karshi, Uzbekistan will host the match.
Similarly, the West Zonal Semi Final single-leg matches between Muharraq Club of Bahrain and title holders Al Ahed FC of Lebanon as well as Kuwait SC and Al Salt of Jordan will be held from September 20 to 21. Efforts are currently being taken to finalise the centralised host for the AFC Cup South Zone matches.
Meanwhile, the AFC Cup Knockout Stage draw has been postponed tentatively to August 4, 2021. The draw was originally scheduled for July 7, 2021.
About South Asian Zone (Group D) games
On Tuesday, Khel Now confirmed that Bangladesh have successfully submitted a bid for hosting AFC Cup 2021 South Asian Zone (Group D) matches. On behalf of Bashundhara Kings, the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) submitted their bid on deadline day (July 5).
At the time of writing, AFC are yet to take a decision regarding this. Apart from Kings, Maziya S&RC and ATK Mohun Bagan are also a part of Group D, and they will be