First of all, the Turkmen league, that should have started a few weeks ago, is yet to start.
Then on May 8, a surprising decision was taken: Turkmen clubs, Altyn Asyr and Ahal have opted out of the AFC Cup group matches due to COVID-19 pandemic. The two clubs should have played in neighboring countries Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The vast majority of Turkmenistan squad plays with Altyn Asyr. If Turkmen doesn’t want to travel to neighboring countries, can they make the long trip to South Korea?
On the same day, our sources in Turkmenistan tell us that national team coach Rovshen Muhadov has resigned. There is currently no official decision, therefore it remains uncertain.
There are several decisions and rumors that converge towards one and the same idea: Turkmenistan could follow the lead of North Korea.
Given that both teams will beat Sri Lanka, this decision means that the game between Lebanon and South Korea will determine who tops the group. Lebanon will enter the game against the hosts in June with 14 points and a goal difference of at least +5 (game vs Sri Lanka not included). This is a very positive stand for Lebanon, even if they qualify second.
No word has come out yet from AFC about the withdrawal of North Korea nor the Turkmen clubs.