Qatar to host East Zone game for AFC Champions League

KUALA LUMPUR: It has moved all remaining Asian Champions League games for East zone sides to Qatar from Malaysia due to the Covid-19 pandemic the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said on Friday.

In Doha previous, this week saw the end of West zone matches where Iran’s Persepolis advanced to the December 19 final the games counting residual group matches would now take place from November 18 to December 13.

The teams were level 1-1 after extra time Persepolis beat Al Nassr of Saudi Arabia 5-3 on punishment.

The AFC said Qatar won a reopened request procedure to host the matches. The East zone matches from October because of the complexity of the competition in the face of the plague it said it had reopened request after postponement.

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East zone sides hail from China, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Australia, and Thailand.

“We are extremely grateful for the outstanding support of the QFA [Qatar Football Association],” AFC escritoire general Dato Windsor John said in an earlier statement.

“We can now build on the success of the AFC Champions League [West] while looking forward to the remaining exciting matches in Asia’s premier club competition.”

Head coach of Sydney FC Steve Corica one of three Australian teams in the competition said with the preparations set his side could now look forward to the confront.

He said, “It’s pleasing to now know where we’ll be playing and when, and we’re looking forward to the trip providing we get the right bio-security clearances and approvals.”

In additional, “We have unfinished business in Group H and the boys are really looking forward to getting stuck back in against the best in Asia.”

The AFC has had to frequently, change its calendar due to the virus. In Malaysia, which is at present battling a rush in virus cases East-zone groups G and H had been schedule to be play.

The Asian Champions League was balance in March due to the plague and Chinese clubs Shanghai SIPG, Shanghai Shenhua, and Guangzhou Evergrande are yet to play any collection matches.

When playing resumed last month, West zone games were move to Qatar.

During their stay in Qatar, and similar is plane for the eastern group the western division teams were subject to testing and biosecure hotels and transport.

“Everything from the arrival of the teams, the efficient immigration process, the rigorous health screenings, hotels with biosecurity measures, to the state-of-the-art training facilities and stadiums were of the highest possible standard,” Windsor John said

Several teams were affecting by the novel corona virus with last year’s winners in spite of severe bio-security events Al Hilal axed from the rivalry after they reached the hit stage with a game to spare.

To field the minimum number of players necessary for their final group match the Saudi side had 30 players and staff infects by Covid-19 and unable.

Al-Wahda of the United Arab Emirates a second team did not travel to Qatar because of virus cases.

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