Guangzhou Evergrande are among the teams to have Champions League matches postponed by the AFC because of coronavirus ©Getty Images

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have opted to postpone matches involving Chinese clubs involved in the east region of the Champions League because of the coronavirus outbreak following an emergency meeting.

The meeting was held in in Kuala Lumpur, with representatives of the six member associations in taking part in the east region of the competition present.

Representatives of the leagues, clubs and commercial agencies also took part, after countries in the region began imposing travel restrictions on people travelling from China.

It followed the World Health Organization declaring the coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency.

The AFC had originally altered the match schedule on January 29, which would have seen Chinese clubs play away on the first three match days in the group stage of the competition.

The rearranged matches were impacted by some Governments in the region issuing travel restrictions following the outbreak, which would prevent the matches being held.

Shanghai Shenhua had been due to place Australian club Perth Glory on February 11 in Group F, before playing the South Korean side Ulsan Hyundai a week later.

Guangzhou Evergrande’s first two Group G matches against the South Korean side Suwon Samsung Bluewings and Malaysia's Johor Darul Ta'zim have also been moved, along with Shanghai SIPG’s Group H clashes with Sydney FC and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors from South Korea. 

Beijing FC’s first Group E match against FC Seoul will also be rescheduled.

The AFC decided that their planned fixture with Thailand’s Chiangrai United will take place as planned on February 18.

Beijing FC are set to play their group stage match against Chiangrai United as planned ©Getty Images
Beijing FC are set to play their group stage match against Chiangrai United as planned ©Getty Images

This decision was taken because the team are already in South Korea are may not need quarantine measures.

Chiangrai United have promised that they will continue to work closely with the Thai Government and medical officials to monitor the on-going and fast-moving situation.

"We came together in difficult circumstances to find solutions to allow us to play football while ensuring we protect the safety and security of all players, officials, stakeholders and fans," Dato' Windsor John, the AFC secretary general, said.

"We also accept that this coronavirus is a much bigger issue than just football and we wish all those who have been affected a speedy return to health."

The AFC  claimed  it will continue to closely evaluate the impact of the outbreak, but have proposed to hold the postponed matches in April and May.

The East Zone Round of 16 matches are proposed for June 16 and 17 with the return leg on June 23 or 24.

Representatives at the meeting agreed a deadline to assess the latest situation will be set 21 days before each match.

If it is decided the game cannot go-ahead as proposed, the host club will have to nominate a neutral venue at least 14 days before the match day.

A host of sports events have either been cancelled, postponed or moved amid the outbreak, including Group B of the AFC Women’s Olympic Football Qualifying Tournament, relocated from Wuhan - where the virus originated - to Nanjing and then to Sydney.