All six national federations taking part in the Asian Champions League East agreed Tuesday to postpone matches involving Chinese clubs in response to the ongoing outbreak of a new coronavirus.
At an emergency meeting convened by the Asian Football Confederation, the national bodies agreed to defer the matches featuring Beijing Guoan, Shanghai Shenhua, Guangzhou Evergrande and Shanghai SIPG in the first half of the group stage.
The AFC said it would "continue to closely evaluate the impact of the outbreak," but is aiming to reschedule the postponed matches in April and May.
Three J-League clubs -- FC Tokyo, Vissel Kobe and Yokohama F Marinos -- are taking part in the tournament.
Their games originally scheduled for the first week of March against Shenhua, Evergrande and SIPG, respectively, will be pushed back to the last week of May under current plans.
East Zone round-of-16 matches are proposed for June 16 and 17, with return legs on June 23 or 24. The federations agreed to reassess the situation no later than 21 days before each rescheduled match.
The East Asian group stage, kicking off Feb. 11, spans six match days.
The AFC previously altered the schedule to let the Chinese clubs play away on the first three match days, but subsequent restrictions introduced by some countries, including Australia, have made it impossible for them to travel to the rearranged fixtures.