When the decision was made in 2013 to split the Asian Champions League into east and west geographic zones, it was unthinkable that a team from one half of the continent could book a place in the grand final long before some clubs on the other side had started the group stage.

Such a lopsided scenario will likely become a reality in 2020.

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The 32 teams from top leagues in Asia started the continental competition in February, but the tournament was suspended the following month because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the vast distances in Asia and many varied experiences in terms of infections and restrictions for the coronavirus, it was impossible for a while for games involving international travel to take place.

After a delay of six months, the Asian Champions League is back. Well, at least half of the league will…

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