A concrete start date for the 2020 soccer season in China is slowly becoming a reality, but it could come at the cost of the CFA Cup.
Early hopes to see the season start in May appear to have taken a heavy hit after the country closed its borders to foreigners, leaving a number of teams without some of their best players.
With anyone entering the country immediately starting a 14-day quarantine, the likelihood of the season starting before June is greatly diminished, especially with a new case emerging again across the country.
Now, according to Titan Sports, Middle Empire sources are considering a new tentative start date of June 20 for the new season, with the idea of making all 30 league matches before the end of the year.
This would give the Super League, League One, League Two and Under 28 full weeks to adjust to matches, while also allowing for international breaks and continental competitions such as the Champions League. AFC.
This puts the status of the 2020 CFA Cup on hold, with Chinese knockout competition likely to take a back seat in the league.
With the Chinese leagues typically only playing one league match per week, filtering into other knockout competitions midweek, an adjustment of two league matches every now and then will need to be made.
That hardly leaves time to host the CFA Cup, which has a two-round final to determine the winner.
If the cup has to be sacrificed to accommodate the league season before the start of the year, it would leave Shanghai Shenhua as the defending champion until the end of the 2021 season.
It would be a shame if the clubs could not take part in the knockout competition, especially for some of the smaller clubs who could earn significant income from matches against top opponents.
However, if there is any hope of having a full championship football season before the end of the year, it would be a small price to pay for teams to return to the pitch and compete in 2020.