Qatar set to host 2020 AFC Champions League (East) Matches

  • 2 weeks   ago

A few days separate us from the first whistle that will signal the resumption of the AFC Champions League, East Zone, matches in Doha, the Qatari capital.

The opening match between Shanghai Shenhua of China FC and Australia’s Perth Glory at the Education City Stadium will officially mark the resumption of the remaining matches of the AFC Champions League 2020 that were stopped in March because of the COVID-19 situation around the continent.

Sixteen teams will participate in this group from six countries: China, South Korea, Australia, Japan, Malaysia and Thailand, and will compete for a spot to face the winner of the AFC Champions League (West) Iran’s Persepolis in the final scheduled for December 19th 2021.

A total of 44 matches will be held in Qatar following the resumption, with one round already played in the East groups and only five more remaining.

Qatar first got the AFC nod in June to host the West Zone matches in Sept-Oct. Once the event was successfully conducted, the AFC had no hesitation to seek Qatar’s assistance in hosting the East Zone matches also.

Following its success in hosting the AFC Champions League (West) from September 14th to October 3rd 2020 and writing a new chapter in Qatar’s history for its accomplishment in hosting major sporting events, whether, at the continental or global level, Qatar once more reaffirms its ability and readiness to host the 2022™ World Cup. Qatar’s agreement to host the AFC Champions League (East) fall in line with the country’s support to assist AFC in completing one of the biggest and most prestigious continental tournaments set to resume the competition following the suspension of football activity last March due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The upcoming AFC Champions League competitions for the East Zone will be held at four stadiums – three of which are scheduled to host matches during the FIFA World Qatar 2022 ™ namely the Education City Stadium, Al Janoub Stadium and Khalifa International Stadium – in addition to the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium in Al Sadd Sports Club, allowing the State of Qatar another opportunity, for the second time in a row, to build on its readiness to host the most important football event in the world in the Arab world and the Middle East region for the first time after nearly two years.

Three of the training sites nominated for use at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 ™ will host the training sessions for the clubs competing in the East Zone of the AFC Champions League. These designated sites are the training complexes at Qatar University, Al-Oqla, and Al-Ersal, allowing players to train in modern facilities meeting the highest FIFA standards.

The Qatar Football Association (QFA), the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, and the Qatar Stars League Foundation (QSLF) are working with all partners to ensure the safety of all participants by taking several strict preventive measures throughout the tournament to ensure the safety and health of all players and officials.

The AFC’s confidence in Qatar and its organizational capabilities is a significant reason for hosting matches East Zone matches

On this occasion, Mr Hani Taleb Ballan, a member of the Executive Committee of the Qatar Football Association and Qatar StarsLeague CEO, said in a statement:

“We are pleased with our capability to provide a safe atmosphere for the AFC to complete the AFC Champions League (East), and we look forward to welcoming the top football clubs from East Asia in November and December. We are proud to be selected as the host country for the remaining matches of the AFC Champions League 2020 for the East teams for the second time in a row after the successful hosting of the AFC Champions League (West), adding a new achievement for us on our way to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 ™.

Mr Ballan added: “There is no doubt that our anticipated hosting of the AFC Champions League (East) matches is a reflection of our cooperation with the AFC, who have indicated their confidence in Qatar’s organizational capabilities. Moreover, we are incredibly confident that we can provide the right atmosphere for the East Asians teams by providing the best sports facilities coupled with organizational experience and health care, that is per the highest international standards, ensuring the success of the tournament at all levels.

Moreover, he stressed: “This hosting gives us the hope and confidence that football activities and life will return to normal, especially with everyone’s commitment to following and respecting the procedures that ensure all participants safety in the tournament. In this regard, we continue to work with all our partners in Asia and FIFA, in resuming the organizing football competitions after its recent disruption.”

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Source: Qatar Football Association