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All AFC Cup 2020 matches postponed until further notice due to coronavirus pandemic

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The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has decided to postpone all AFC Cup 2020 matches until further notice due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation across the continent. 

The AFC had earlier decided to postpone the matches in the West Asia Zone, but it has now brought a blanket suspension of matches across all five zones.

“Following the imposition of further preventive measures and travel restrictions by several national governments due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the AFC has decided today to postpone all AFC Cup 2020 matches until further notice,” it said in a statement.

“The AFC had earlier postponed all AFC Cup West Zone Group Stage matches on March 12 and the latest decision applies to all matches in March and April across the five AFC zones. In the meantime, the AFC will closely monitor the situation before deciding when to recommence the AFC Cup season,” it said.

“The decision, which was also made in conjunction with the competing clubs and their respective Member Associations, is a precautionary measure to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all participating players and teams, match officials and spectators as well as designed to protect the integrity of the competition,” AFC said.

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Asia

Cambodia suspend all football tournaments across country to combat COVID-19

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Cambodia has become the latest country in Southeast Asia to suspend all footballing activities including the 2020 Cambodian League season due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Several countries from ASEAN including Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Philippines have suspended their domestic leagues in order to slow down the spread of the coronavirus while countries like Singapore and Myanmar had decided to play behind closed doors.

Cambodia were the only country to have their domestic league running in full steam in the midst of the global pandemic, but they have now decided to suspend all tournaments until further notice.

“The Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC) inform the public that in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the FFC have decided to postpone the 14th Hun Sen Cup, Metfone Cambodian League 2020 and the U-16 National Championship, U-18 National Championship and the delay of the 2020 General Assembly of the Football Federation of Cambodia until further notice,” the FFC said.

The 2020 season of the Cambodian League has already completed five rounds of matches with Phnom Penh Crown FC leading the table with 13 points. Defending champions Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng FC also have the same number of points, but are second on goal difference.

The Hun Sen Cup, meanwhile, is the country’s domestic cup competition that is split into two stages. The provincial stage featuring clubs from the lower division was held in February, but the national stage during which the top division clubs were to join the competition now stands suspended.

(Photo credit: Visakha FC)

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Former Myanmar national team captain Yan Aung Kyaw to retire at the end of 2020 season

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Yangon United and Myanmar veteran midfielder Yan Aung Kyaw has announced that he will retire from professional football the end of the 2020 season. 

A former captain of the Myanmar national team, Aung Kyaw made his debut for the Asian Lions in 2011 and has won over 60 international caps for the Southeast Asian nation during his career.

He also won a bronze medal for Myanmar at the 2011 Southeast Asian Games while also winning five domestic league titles and three General Aung San Shields with Yangon, the club he has represented since its formation in 2009 along with the Myanmar National League (MNL).

“I previously spoke about my future and mentioned that I will not play for another MNL club against my team Yangon United and another reason is my age. Although I could play one or two more years, I don’t want to play for another club after my contract with Yangon ends in December,” he told Myanmar Times.

Aung Kyaw also hinted that he will move into coaching after retirement and that Yangon United has offered him the opportunity to work at the club.

“I want to thank to my team president and all the team’s staff including my teammates. They supported me very well and the team has been very good to me. Of course the fans have also always been supportive,” Aung Kyaw added.

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Stephanie Catley scores winner as Melbourne City edge Sydney FC 1-0 in W-League Grand Final

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Melbourne City FC edged Sydney 1-0 in the 2019-20 W-League Grand Final at the AAMI Park in Melbourne to claim their fourth domestic championship title in five years. 

Wing-back Stephanie Catley scored the only goal of the game in the 15th minute through the hands of goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe to defeat last season’s winners Sydney in the Grand Final which was held without the involvement of spectators to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Melbourne City had qualified for the Finals series by finishing top of the 2019-20 W-League regular season with 34 points from 12 matches while Sydney FC had finished third with 22 points.

Melbourne Victory had finished second in the regular season with 23 points while Western Sydney Wanderers took the fourth and final slot in the knockout stages by collecting 22 points.

In the semifinals that were also played behind closed doors, Sydney had edged Victory 1-0 to qualify for the Grand Final while Melbourne City had thrashed Western Sydney Wanderers 5-1.

Melbourne City had won the W-League Grand Finals in three consecutive season starting 2015-16 before Sydney emerged victorious last season by defeating Perth Glory 4-2.

(Photo credit: Melbourne City FC)

Read more: A-League, the show goes on but complaints about quarantine

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