UAE football clubs will resume their AFC Champions League campaign on September 14 and 15, according to the revised schedule announced by the Asian football body on Thursday.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have worked out new dates for the continental competition, hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, with tweaks to the format to complete the backlog of matches.
The remaining group fixtures will remain the same twin legs but the Round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals and the final, will be single matches rather than home and away. All the games will be played at centralised venues to be announced later.
Sharjah, Shabab Al Ahli, Al Ain and Al Wahda, who are part of the West Zone, are the UAE representatives in the competition.
Al Wahda, who are second in Group A, will restart their bid against Iran's Esteghlal on September 14, while Shabab Al Ahli, who are third in Group B, play Iran's Shahr Khodro, on the same day.
Last year's Arabian Gulf League champions Sharjah, who are the bottom of Group C, take on Al Duhail SC on September 15, while Al Ain, inaugural winners in 2003 and runner-up in 2005 and 2016, meet Al Sadd on the same day, in Group D.
The Round of 16 for the West Zone will be played on September 26 and 27, with the quarterfinals on September 30. The semifinal will be played on October 3 with the final scheduled for December 5.
"Notwithstanding the challenging times, I am delighted that we are seeing more encouraging progress on the return of many domestic Leagues to the field and with them comes an expectation that we can conclude the AFC Champions League in the coming months," Dato' Windsor John, the AFC General Secretary, said in a statement.
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