Barring any hitch surrounding the recent change in ownership, United City FC will play its remaining group stage matches in the AFC Cup in Vietnam this September.
The Asian Football Confederation made the announcement Thursday with Vietnam set to host Group F in Ho Chi Minh City and Group G in Quang Ninh Province.
The final three matches of both groups which were all suspended last March due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be held from Sept. 23 to Sept. 29.
United City took over ownership earlier this month from Ceres-Negros, which currently leads Group G with seven points on two wins and one draw.
Other teams in the said group are Vietnam’s Than Quang Ninh, Cambodia’s Svay Rieng and Indonesia’s Bali United.
Philippine Football Federation president Nonong Araneta said he doesn’t see the transfer of ownership as a problem surrounding the club’s status in the AFC Cup.
“We have to write AFC because this is the same team, except for the change of ownership and the name (of the club),” said Araneta, who added that “I think AFC will agree to that.”
The club, now under a different set of owners led by MMC Sportz’s Eric Gottschalk, has retained most of the Ceres players including star midfielder Stephan Schrock earlier in the week.
Meanwhile, the status of where Kaya-Iloilo and the rest of Group H will play for its own centralized matches are still being determined by the AFC.
Kaya is currently second in Group H with five points, two behind Singapore’s Tampines Rovers. Kaya produced one win and two draws, including a 1-1 tie against Indonesia’s PSM Makassar prior to the suspension.
The top three teams in Groups F, G and H and the best second-placer will meet in the ASEAN Zonal semifinals. Both the semis and finals of the zone will be single-leg matches.