This year’s AFC Cup stands cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Asian Football Confederation said in a statement on September 10.
The competition was initially suspended in March due to lockdowns and was supposed to take place this month at neutral venues.
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I-League club Chennai City was to travel to the Maldives for Group E matches. Chennai started the season with a 2-2 draw against Maziya on March 11.
“In view of the logistics in coordinating the five zones of the AFC Cup and completing the Inter-Zone matches, the Executive Committee agreed that the pandemic created complexities which constituted a Force Majeure event and led to the cancellation of the 2020 competition,” the AFC said in a statement.
Villa CEO on Fan Limit
Aston Villa CEO Christian Purslow criticised the UK government's decision to limit the fans at stadiums to just 1,000 fans for the month of September.
The new Premier League season will begin from this weekend without fans, similar to how it was the time when last season resumed after a halt.
In July, the government hinted at the possible return of fans by October 1, following a series of pilot events in various sports. But the decision is now under review owing to the rise in the number of cases.
“So we feel rather disappointed about yesterday's news. It's not true that we haven't had clarity on these (test events). We have actually been told they will be delayed and we have been told the tests would be capped at 1,000 fans,” Purslow told BBC Radio.
“The only thing you will learn from having 1,000 fans in a stadium in a football test event is that football clubs lose huge amounts of money when their stadiums are empty and that has a profound impact on the economy of football.”
Bielsa to Stay at Leeds
Marcelo Bielsa said he is going to continue as the manager of Leeds United when they play in the English Premier League this season.
"I will be working the next season at Leeds United,” Bielsa said on Thursday ahead of the season opener on Saturday against champions Liverpool.
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As his record states, Bielsa has never spent more than two years managing a club side but Angus Kinnear said the 64-year-old already has plans and strategies for Leeds' first season back in the Premier League after missing 16 years.
“I just need to find an appropriate window to get the paper in front of him and for him to sign it,” Kinnear told Sky Sports. “I know fans are nervous, it makes me a bit nervous, but I don't think there is any reason to be.
Napoli President Tests Positive
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has tested positive for COVID-19, the club said in a statement. De Laurentiis was a part of a Serie A assembly on September 9, along with many officials from various Italian clubs.
The club has not finished outside the top 10 of Serie A for more than a decade and has had second and third places on many occasions. They were also the winners of the Coppa Italia last season.
Napoli are due to start the new season at Parma on September 20.
Return of Fans in Scotland
The return of fans to Scottish stadiums has been put on halt till October 5, first minister Nicola Sturgeon announced. The earlier date for fans’ entry was September 14.
As many as 300 fans will be allowed at both Pittodrie and the Global Energy Stadium on September 12, the first time fans will be allowed in Scottish football matches since March.
But the chances of having a larger crowd this month stands at a halt with the average daily rate of coronavirus cases increasing.
Sturgeon confirmed Scotland is likely to will continue with the third phase of lockdown "for some time yet".
"The pandemic is at this stage accelerating again - albeit, and thankfully, from a low base and not as rapidly as it was back in March and April," said the first minister.
"We have concluded that these changes must be paused for a further three weeks. The new indicative date for their resumption is Monday 5 October. However, I must stress that this remains an indicative date - a final decision can only be taken nearer the time."
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