Soccer-AFC Cup East Zone group stage games postponed due to COVID-19

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(Reuters) - The second-tier AFC Cup's group stage matches for clubs in the east zone have been postponed to June due to challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said on Monday.

The Group J matches were initially scheduled to be held in Hong Kong from May 14-20 but will now be played from June 23-29.

"The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has agreed to the proposal by the Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) to reschedule the AFC Cup East Zone Group J matches," the AFC said in a statement

"The decision was confirmed, taking into consideration the ongoing challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and to allow more time to ensure the optimal delivery of the matches."

Group J includes Mongolia's Athletic 220, Hong Kong's Eastern Long Lions and Lee Man plus Taiwan's Tainan City.

The 2020 edition of the AFC Cup was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic when quarantine regulations in many nations made international travel almost impossible.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)