2020/2021 AFC Champions League

2020/2021 AFC Champions League Reviews
Written by, Jacob Cook Wed 28 Apr
2020/2021 AFC Champions League Reviews
2020/2021 AFC Champions League Reviews

2020/2021 AFC Champions League

The AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Champions League is back. The 2020 edition had started last February, but the COVID-19 spread led to suspend it. Asia's top leagues' 32 best teams participate in this continental tournament. The competition has three phases, the preliminary stage, the group stage, and the knockout stage. The group stage was running when the tournament stopped in April 2020 due to the Covid-19 expansion. Since 2013, the participating teams are divided into two geographical areas; the east and the west. From each zone comes one team that will dispute the tournament final.

How The Covid-19 Pandemic Affected The AFC Champions League

In Western Asia, 16 teams will play all their matches in Qatar. Initially, this would occur between September 14 and 30, 2020. However, the AFC Champions League postponed the games' resumption in this area for approximately one more month. This happened since the Al Wahda club could not travel to Qatar since several of its members tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, the AFC Champions League eliminated the Emirati team's results in the Asian Champions League–Al Wahda. They had four points from two games before the league suspension. But, after losing all his points, Al-Ahli took the lead from Group A. As for the resumption of the tournament in East Asia, this will not take place before November 15, 2020. It is impossible to hold matches before that date due to the strong travel restrictions in this region due to the coronavirus. Due to these restrictions, the tournament final will be in the western region of the continent on December 19 and at a single match.

What We Still Have To See In The AFC Champions League

The competition in the west zone will bring together clubs from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, and Uzbekistan. All of them will be concentrated in Qatar. In the eastern zone, teams from Japan, China, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, and Australia will face off. Before the matches' resumption, only three teams have already secured a place in the round of 16. They are Al-Ahli Saudi, Al-Hilal Saudi, and Al-Nassr, all from Saudi Arabia. In contrast, three of the four Chinese clubs have yet to play one of the group stage matches. Likewise, teams from Japan, South Korea, Australia, and Malaysia have four or five meetings pending. After the group stage, the round of 16, quarter-finals, and semi-finals will be played. Each of them will be decided in a single match.

As for outstanding players, French Bafetimbi Gomis, the last tournament leading scorer, again leads the scorers with three goals in two games. Another player to watch is Hassan al Haydos, who scored three goals in Al Sadd's first two victories. For his part, Keijiro Ogawa, Vissel Kobe's Japanese forward, also has three goals. Abderrazaq Hamdallah of Al Nassr also deserves attention. This Moroccan striker has a sensational performance both domestically and continentally. We hope that the Asian soccer top competition can finally resume and we meet the new Asian champion. This club will be the AFC Champions League representative in the FIFA Club World Cup 2020.

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