Iranian clubs decide against boycott of Asian Champions League

January 24, 2020

Iranian clubs decide against boycott of Asian Champions League

Iranian football teams have decided against boycotting the Asian Champions League after their games were moved from Iran to the United Arab Emirates over security concerns.

Two games were originally scheduled for this week but were postponed due to security concerns after several countries issued warnings against traveling to Iran, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) then announced that the games were being relocated to the UAE with a statement saying “to help facilitate the switch to neutral venues, which has been approved by the relevant AFC committees, the AFC will now reschedule the games to January 25, 2020 in the United Arab Emirates.”

Iran’s parliament did not agree with this decision and said the decision had come from misinformation provided by western media and that the call for Iranian clubs to boycott the competition had come from the highest political office. The AFC sought to avoid a boycott so provided the clubs with the following proposal: the rescheduled matches remain in the UAE and the first three group stage matches for Iranian clubs are played away in the hope that by the time the three home games are set to be played, the tensions in Iran will have settled.

The four Iranian clubs, being Perspolis, Sepahan, Shahr Khodro and Esteghlal FC were threatening to boycott the competition all together but eventually backed down and agreed to the AFC proposal after a meeting held between the clubs and the General Secretary of the AFC.

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