ASEAN & East Asia Wrap: Homecomings, challenges and match action
Kuala Lumpur: As football continues its extended hiatus in the majority of countries across Asia and beyond, the players have been coming up with new ways of keeping entertained.
In this week's look back at what the stars have been up to off the pitch, we bring you sporting challenges and fashion views, as well as a special return home in China, league action from Chinese Taipei and a special birthday in Indonesia.
Central Asia Domestic Wrap: Champions held in Turkmenistan, Tajikistan
Bishkek: The return of Turkmenistan’s Yokary Liga made Central Asia the continent’s most active football region, but the champions of both Turkmenistan and Tajikistan were held to draws on Sunday.
Ashgabat powerhouse Altyn Asyr FC dropped two points thanks to a late goal from FC Kopetdag, while Tajikistan champions Istiklol were denied for the first time this season in an entertaining 2-2 draw against Khatlon.
Join the-AFC.com for all the key news and results from Kulob to Kunya-Urgench.
Great Garuda: The players who have helped shape Indonesian football
Kuala Lumpur: April 19 marks the 90th anniversary of the PSSI (Football Association of Indonesia), which was founded back in 1930, eight years before Indonesia – then known as the Dutch East Indies – became the first Asian nation to appear at a FIFA World Cup.
Vote in the poll at the foot of the article to choose your favourite all-time Indonesian legend
You could travel the length and breadth of the Earth but struggle to find a place more impassioned by football than the Southeast Asian country, where the finest players are idolised and expectation remains heaped on the national team.
The Garuda qualified automatically for the 1938 FIFA World Cup in France, but the team had to wait almost six decades until they advanced to another major tournament, when they reached the 1996 AFC Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
While the side of the late 30s deserve their place in history, we look a little closer to modern times to highlight five players who have helped shape the beautiful game in a football-mad nation.
Seoul: The son of one of Asia’s greatest players, former Korea Republic and FC Seoul defender Cha Du-ri reflects on his his 14-year career and how he finally stepped out of the shadow of his famous father.
Cha Du-ri had a harder time than most in living up to his father’s legacy. Korea Republic’s all-time leading scorer with over 50 goals from more than 120 international matches, winner of two UEFA Cups and holder of a number of Bundesliga records, Cha Bum-kun is hailed far and wide as one of Asia’s greatest ever players.
A 14-year career as a professional brought its own accolades to Cha with a CV that is impressive in its own right: 2015 AFC Asian Cup finalist, 2013 AFC Champions League finalist, 2011 AFC Asian Cup third place, not to mention appearing in the 2002 and 2010 FIFA World Cups.
AFC’s #BreakTheChain continues to rally and inspire communities
Kuala Lumpur: Former Japan and current Thailand head coach Akira Nishino, Guam women’s team captain Anjelica Perez and Nepal and Minerva Punjab’s Kiran Chemjong are the latest trio to answer the call in raising Continental awareness on the COVID-19 pandemic through the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) #BreakTheChain campaign.
Having reached millions of fans, the #BreakTheChain series has been widely applauded in educating the Asian community on the precautionary measures established by the World Health Organization to flatten the COVID-19 curve and encouraging football fans to remain calm by sharing positive messages of unity and hope.
Kuala Lumpur: In the fourth edition of our AFC Champions League legends series, we turn the spotlight on Japan and highlight five icons who have graced Asia's premier club competition over the years.
Three J.League clubs have tasted Continental glory in the AFC Champions League era, with Urawa Red Diamonds, Gamba Osaka and Kashima Antlers all having lifted the prestigious trophy, and players from the trio feature heavily in our selection.