Asian club competitions reshuffled after Myanmar withdraws

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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — The Asian Football Confederation has amended the schedule for two tiers of its continental club championships after the Myanmar Football Federation withdrew Hantharwady United FC and Shan United FC from the 2021 competitions.

The AFC issued a statement Friday saying its competitions committee “noted and acknowledged the challenges as well as the present complexities caused by the state of emergency in Myanmar and decided that the situation constituted an event of force majeure.”

More than 700 protesters and bystanders have been killed by security forces in Myanmar since the Feb. 1 coup, according to several detailed estimates. The junta’s own figure is roughly one-third of that. The military also denies using disproportionate force to put down what it describes as rioting.

With the Myanmar clubs out of the regional soccer competitions, the AFC has canceled an AFC Champions League preliminary stage match between Shan United FC and Australia’s Melbourne City, which will now advance directly to a playoff against Cerezo Osaka from Japan.

With Hantharwady United FC out of playoff contention in the second-tier AFC Cup, the AFC has decided that FC Chanthabouly of Laos and Brunei’s Kasuka FC will now compete for a direct slot in Group G.


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