(FILES) In this file photo taken on April 9, 2019, players from Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors celebrate their goal during the AFC Champions League Group G football match between the Urawa Reds of Japan and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors of South Korea in Saitama. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP)

Malaysia will host two groups in the coronavirus-hit AFC Champions League, organizers said, although two more pools in Asia’s premier football competition remain without a home.

After Qatar agreed to host all four groups in the West region, Malaysia has stepped in to stage East-zone groups G and H, featuring teams from Japan, China, South Korea and Australia, as well as Malaysia’s Johor Darul Ta’zim.

The Champions League, on hold since the pandemic wiped out international sport in March, will resume on September 14 in Qatar with the games in Malaysia starting on October 17.

However, “the centralized venue for the AFC Champions League groups E and F as well as the remaining knockout stage matches are yet to be confirmed”, an Asian Football Confederation statement said.

Groups E and F include teams from Japan, China, South Korea, Australia and Thailand.

To help squeeze in the condensed tournament, all knockout ties will be played in a single match, rather than home and away, and the final will also be a one-off game played in the West region.


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Malaysia to host AFC Champions League games