The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has yet to release a new schedule for the thrice-postponed AFC Cup match pitting Visakha FC and Lalenok United FC.
Last week, the governing body for Asian football announced the postponement of the match, apparently due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The match was originally scheduled for April 28, rescheduled to May 19 and then moved to June 20, after the Football Federation of Cambodia requested for a delay due to the COVID-19 situation in the Kingdom.
Visakha FC and the Timorese club are fighting for the right to advance to the group stage of the continental championship.
In the previous postponements, the AFC was quick to assign a new date for the match. But this time, nothing has come out from the AFC until now, leading to speculations that it will be cancelled, together with the entire tournament.
Adding to the AFC dilemma is the fact that no other country has volunteered to host the match after Singapore withdrew from hosting the AFC Cup this year, due to a surge in virus cases there.
The AFC has requested Indonesia to host some of the group matches. But the Southeast Asian country has not yet responded to the request.
For Visakha FC, there is also the possibility that a new schedule will come into conflict with the Cambodian League (Metfone Cambodian League).
Cambodia’s top football league is set to resume this weekend.
Colum Curtis, head coach of Visakha FC, told the local media that he is hopeful that the match and the tournament will push through and that a new venue will be found.
His guarded optimism was shared by other participants of the AFC Cup.
Aidil Sharin Sahak, coach of Kedah FC, said they are waiting for the latest AFC announcement.
“For now, we can only wait and hope that the AFC find a solution,” Sahak was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times.
The Malaysian club is in Group H together with Lion City Sailors of Singapore, Saig
on FC of Vietnam and Persipura Jayapura of Indonesia.
At this time, only the teams in Group J are playing. The group is composed of Athletic 220 FC of Mongolia, Warriors FC of Singapore, Tainan City FC of Taiwan and Eastern SC of Hong Kong.
The 40 teams competing in the AFC Cup are divided into 10 groups.
Datuk Windsor John, AFC secretary-general, announced earlier that the committee in-charge of the tournament will meet next week to decide on their next step. “Cancellation is our last option,” he stressed.