The UAE FA will facilitate participation of the country’s clubs in the AFC Champions League despite reservations about ‘home and away’ format for matches against the Qatari Clubs.
In a statement posted on the UAE FA’s website it was stated that a request was sent to AFC to schedule matches of the UAE clubs against Qatari clubs at neutral venues due to the ongoing crisis. However, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) ruled on Sunday that all matches would be played on a home-and-away basis as planned, according to an AFP report.
An AFC delegation visited the UAE to assess the situation and held talks with the governmental officials. Subsequently, the AFC delegation recommended that the matches between the UAE and Qatari clubs should be held at a neutral venue. “Surprisingly the decision of AFC Executive Committee went against the delegation’s recommendations and decided on the home and away format,” the statement said.
“In view of the UAE FA’s keenness to cooperate with AFC, our clubs will take part in the AFC CL.” The UAE FA has assurred full cooperation and clubs for the participation in the CL 2018.”
The ruling also means Saudi clubs travel to Qatar for their games and must host Qatari teams for the return.
Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal has been placed with Qatar’s Al Rayyan in Group D of the AFC Champions League beginning February 12.
Qatar’s Al Sadd are in Group C along with the UAE’s Al Wasl, while in Group B Qatar’s Al Duhail are pitted against the UAE’s Al Wahda.
The AFC Asian Champions League is the top continental competition for football clubs in Asia
Credits : khaleejtimes