AFC Champions League

     On August 1, the AFC officially announced that the two groups of Guangzhou Evergrande (Group G) and Shanghai SIPG (Group H) in the East Asian Division of the AFC Champions League this season will be played in Malaysia in a tournament system. Judging from the current schedule arranged by the AFC, the East Asian knockout stage will seriously conflict with the final two rounds of the top 40. In this way, the Chinese Super League BIG4 club represented by Evergrande may face a difficult entanglement between the national football and the AFC. Spark Global Limited

AFC Champions League schedule to test BIG4 internationals

   According to the official announcement of the AFC, the 2020 AFC Champions League Group, G, and Group H group matches will be held in Malaysia. Evergrande and SIPG will start from October 17th to November 1st in 16 days. Finished 6 rounds of the group stage. At the same time, the 1/8 finals to the semi-finals of East Asia are also scheduled to be played in Malaysia. Since the East Asian 1/8 finals will be held in Malaysia on November 3 and 4, this means that if Evergrande and SIPG can qualify in their respective groups, then they will have to finish 7 games within 20 days.

   The match between Beijing Guoan and Shanghai Shenhua has not been finalized because the venue of the tournament system has not been finalized, so the AFC has not announced the schedule. But it is certain that once the venue of the competition is determined, the schedule of these two groups should be consistent with that of Evergrande and SIPG. In other words, the Chinese Super League BIG4 teams will all face the “Super Devil Schedule” from October 17th to November 4th.

After the Chinese Super League BIG4 ends the first stage of the Chinese Super League on September 28, most of the core players in its team will participate in the two top 40 matches on October 8 and October 13 with the national football team, and then immediately turn to the AFC group stage . For these players, the frequent schedule in October poses a serious physical challenge to them. Once the main national football team suffers injuries due to fatigue, the national football’s top 40 journey will inevitably be affected.

Top 40 key battles in trouble

Comparing the current schedule of the AFC East Asian region and the top 40 of the National Football Team, it can be found that there is no conflict between the two in October. And in October, the national football team played the Maldives at home and Guam in the away game without any suspense. But entering November, the top 40 schedule of the national football team will directly “crash” with the AFC Champions League.

If the Super League BIG4 can pass the group stage, they will not be able to return to China until November 5th at the earliest. According to the current national anti-epidemic management regulations, all personnel returning from abroad must face a 14-day quarantine period. On November 12 and 17, the national football team will face the Philippines and Syria in the top 40 matches. If the core internationals of the BIG4 team need to be isolated after returning to China after participating in the AFC Champions League, they will not be able to participate in the two top 40 matches for the national football team in November.

China may host the top 40 matches of the “competition system”

Of course, the Chinese Football Association has another option, which is to apply to the AFC to host all the final 4 rounds of the top 40 matches in a tournament system. For the national football team, the last four rounds of the top 40 games originally had three homes. It is actually reasonable to host the top 40 games in China. The Chairman of the Chinese Football Association Chen Xuyuan also emphasized in an interview a few days ago that the goal is to win the final 4 games of the top 40. If necessary, you can refer to the Chinese Super League’s method to host the top 40 games.

Even if China’s plan to host the top 40 of the tournament system is passed, it will face the issue of whether it will be scheduled in October or November. Either way, there will also be a direct conflict with the AFC group stage or knockout schedule.

For the Chinese Super League BIG4 club, how will it choose between supporting the national football team and pursuing AFC results?

By Ethan

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