The AFF has announced that the inaugural ASEAN Club Championships have been rescheduled to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic ©AFF

The inaugural ASEAN Club Championships (ACC) have been rescheduled to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) tournament was to feature 12 clubs from southeast Asian countries, with the winner due to earn more than $500,000 (£403,000/€458,000).

It was due to begin in May or June, but that will no longer be the case.

"With the ACC having been slotted into 10 match days over five months in the regional schedule, it's now clear that with the prevailing conditions and the pending rescheduling of many AFF national leagues and AFC (Asian Football Confederation) competitions, yet to be decided, that there will not be sufficient time to complete the inaugural championship this year," an AFF statement reads.

"All members can now plan for the launch in 2021."

Four other AFF events will be postponed to later dates this year, beginning with the upcoming Women's Championship in the Philippines in May.

The three others to be moved are the Under-18 Women’s Championship, Under-16 Boys' Championship and Under-19 Boys' Championship, originally scheduled in Indonesia in June, July and August respectively.

"These are unprecedented times for the whole world, including our football family and communities, but we will get through it together," AFF President Khiev Sameth said.

"However, getting through this will require all of us to play our part.

"Since the risks of transmission of the disease at mass gatherings such as football events are high, we have made a considered decision to delay and whenever necessary to cancel our competitions to minimise social contact with the objective to protect the safety and health of our football family and communities."

Four other AFF events will take place as originally planned.

They are the Under-15 Girls' Championship in Indonesia this September, along with the Futsal Championship, Futsal Club Championship and Beach Football Championship, all in Thailand, in the latter part of the year.

The ASEAN Football Championship national team tournament will maintain its planned start in November this year.

"As the situation is constantly evolving, we will keep a close watch and will not hesitate to make changes to our schedule if necessary," Sameth said.

"In every decision we make, AFF will always prioritise the well-being of our football family and communities."

Sameth added that the AFF is constantly following the developments on COVID-19 with guidance from the World Health Organization, health ministries, Government agencies, FIFA and the AFC, and will provide updates when necessary.

"We must all do part to keep the infection as low as possible so that our silent heroes, the doctors and nurses, who are risking their lives out there can cope with the number of critically ill patients and so our hospitals will not become overburdened," he said.

"The targeted measures put in place by the respective Governments can only work if we all do our part to minimise social contact wherever possible."