Doha confirmed as host of 2020 AFC Champions League Final
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC), and the Qatar Football Association (QFA), confirmed on Friday that Doha will be the venue for this year’s AFC Champions League Final, slated to take place on December 19.
According to a statement from the AFC, the QFA has met all the necessary hosting capability and capacity as well as the medical infrastructure to host the Final of Asia’s premier club competition, having hosted the West Asian Leg of the tournament successfully.
Qatar’s preparations to host the East region matches, which begins on November 18, are also on track, the statement noted.
AFC General Secretary Dato’ Windsor John, said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly decided on the venue for this year’s Final more complex particularly in these uncertain times of travel and health restrictions.
“In addition to the numerous restrictions, the AFC also wanted to protect the important principle of sporting fair play. This will be, unlike previous years, a one-off final and we, therefore, needed to ensure that there was no unfair advantage to one team or the other.
“The safety and wellbeing of all participating clubs as well as the protection of all stakeholders has been crucial to the AFC so we must thank the Qatar Football Association and the Qatar Local Authorities and Ministries for putting in place the necessary health measures and effective medical protocols.
The successful staging of the AFC Champions League (West) is testament to the capability of the QFA and the Qatar Government and we now look forward to building on the spirit of collaboration as we prepare to resume the captivating action from the East Group Stage to the Final.”
Additionally, the AFC also had to consider the ability of the host to deliver such requirements among others, the Video Assistant Referee technical arrangements, medical requirements and commercial obligations.
QFA Secretary General Mansoor Mohammed Al-Ansari said, “Given the success of hosting the centralized West region matches in close collaboration with the AFC, and the preparation for the centralized East matches next month, we are confident that we will be able to deliver an outstanding AFC Champions League Final.
Qatar wishes to reiterate our commitment to provide world-class sporting infrastructure and operational and health and safety expertise and we look forward toward working hand-in-hand with the AFC to offer Asia’s best clubs with the ultimate stage in December.”
A total of 12 teams from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Uzbekistan, Iraq, Iran and hosts Qatar featured in the three-week West Asian Leg of the tournament with matches held across four stadiums, including three 2022 FIFA World Cup venues - Al Janoub Stadium, Education City Stadium and the iconic Khalifa International Stadium - as well as the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium.
Iran’s Persepolic FC defeated Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr 5-3 on penalties to reach the semi-final of the tournament where they will face the winner of the East Asian Leg in the final.
The AFC Champions League East region Group Stage will kick-off on November 18, before the Round of 16 takes place on December 6 and 7.
The Knockout Stage will commence with the Quarter-finals on December 10 before the Semi-final on December 13.
Further details of the Final will be communicated in due course.
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Cover Image Credit: QFA