Hougang's Group I rivals Hantharwady pull out of AFC Cup
KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Two Myanmar football teams have pulled out of Asian tournaments for the second year running, officials said on Wednesday (Jan 19), as the country faces ongoing turmoil after last year's coup.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said Shan United withdrew from the AFC Champions League, while Hantharwady United pulled out of the AFC Cup.
The latter were drawn in the same group as Singapore Premier League side Hougang United. The other teams in Group I are Viettel from Vietnam and Cambodia's Phnom Penh Crown.
The Champions League is Asia's top club tournament, while the AFC Cup is a second-tier club competition.
Shan were to take part in the preliminary stage of the Champions League.
No reason was given for the withdrawals, and there was no announcement on which teams would replace them.
Both teams pulled out of the same tournaments last year.
Myanmar has been gripped by violence since a coup in February last year ousted Aung San Suu Kyi's civilian government.
More than 1,400 civilians have since been killed in a military crackdown on dissent, according to a local monitoring group.