The Asian Football Confederation announced that Australian clubs have pulled out of the Champions League.
This includes Kaya-Iloilo’s groupmate in the continent’s biggest competition in Brisbane Roar.
“The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has taken note of Football Australia’s confirmation of the withdrawals of Sydney FC, Melbourne City FC, and Brisbane Roar from the Group, Playoff, and Preliminary stages of the 2021 AFC Champions League respectively,” read the brief statement.
“The matter will now be referred to the relevant AFC Committees, with a decision to be communicated in due course.”
By virtue of their second-place finish in the 2020 Philippines Football League, Kaya earned a slot in the East Region’s preliminary round of the 2021 AFC Champions League against Brisbane Roar. That match was scheduled to take place on June 20.
The winner of that match would have faced China’s Shanghai Port for the chance to join Thailand’s BG Pathum United, South Korea’s Ulsan Hyundai, and Vietnam’s Viettel in Group F, which would have matches to be played in Thanyaburi, Thailand.
Compared to most countries, Australia has relatively kept its COVID-19 cases low with strict travel bans and strong contact tracing. However, it has recently imposed sudden lockdowns on states such as Victoria and Melbourne to thwart a rise in the number of infections.
Kaya is in the midst of preparing for continental competition amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines.
It has recently signed the likes of Jhan-Jhan Melliza, Fitch Arboleda, Ryo Fujii, and Patrick Asare to augment its lineup.