AFC: Asian Champions League 2021 could be played in a centralized venue

FC Goa
FC Goa will take part in the 2021 edition of ACL...

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is planning to organize the Asian Champions League (ACL) in a centralized venue next year due to the Coronavirus pandemic. 

​Once the decision is finalized, it will be the second season to be played in such a manner, after the 2020 edition was restarted this month with all western region games hosted in Qatar. The games for the easter region is set to be played in a centralized hub venue as well. 

Indian Super League (ISL) club FC Goa had become the first Indian club to qualify for the group stage of the ACL after they topped the league stage last season. 

FC Goa

The qualifying rounds for the 2021 edition of the competition are set to start in Januar​y and the concept of a centralised hub venue is thought to be beneficial to all stakeholders. However, the exact dates for the tournament are not known at this stage.

“Centralized formats are definitely on the table,” ​AFC general secretary Dato Windsor John said on Friday.

The western region's knockout rounds will begin without defending champion group toppers Al-Hilal.

​Earlier this week, ​Al-Hilal was removed from the competition ​after several​​​​ players tested positive for COVID-19​ and the club could not name a full matchday squad. ​