Kuala Lumpur: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) annual awards ceremony scheduled for December 2020 in Doha, Qatar has been called off, the Asian football governing body said on Wednesday.
The decision was made by the AFC Executive Committee in light of the COVID-19 outbreak which has caused loss of life throughout Asia, reports Xinhua news agency.
The event would be inappropriate to proceed at this time, the AFC said in a statement.
AFC President, Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa, said the COVID-19 outbreak has not only altered the lives and livelihood of people around the world, but has brought unique challenges to sports and to football.
"Thousands of lives have been lost not just in our continent but also across the world," he said.
"This has brought us to consider the appropriateness of a glittering night of celebration, especially when we need to show respect to all those who have passed away and their grieving families and friends at this most difficult of times," he added.
Meanwhile, former Indonesian international and head coach Bima Sakti, ex-Iraqi forward Mohamad Nasser Shakroun and Afghanistan's Zohib Islam Amiri are the latest Asian stars to lend their voices to the highly engaging AFC #StayActive series.
As per a AFC statement on their website, Bima, who has been tasked to lead the Indonesian U-16 team and is eagerly waiting to learn of his side's challengers in the official draw for the AFC U-16 Championship Bahrain 2020 this Thursday, said: "Some of us are slowly resuming our lives but we must remember that there can be no room for complacency. I urge everyone to follow the guidelines and only participate in sports which are allowed by your respective governments."
"Physical distancing and the best hygiene practices are now non-negotiable and while it requires us to make some adjustments, it is our only chance of completely defeating this virus. We have all done so well but we must be mindful to avoid a second wave at all costs."Our only chance is to rely on each other, and our biggest inspiration are our medical heroes and loved ones. Let us all remain united, keep strong and stay active responsibly," he was quoted as saying by the-afc.com. (IANS)