Reported by Ma Dexing, an all-media reporter of the Sports Weekly
The 2020 AFC Champions League West Asia region will have a semi-final in Doha on October 3, with Shatnasr vs. Iran Persepolis. This will also be the last game in West Asia. The reporter was informed that since Doha has been very successful in hosting the West Asia region, if nothing goes wrong, all the East Asia region games in November will also be arranged in Doha. This means that the top four of the Super League will have to go west in November.
Since the AFC decided in the meeting held in late July to replace the home and away system and complete the AFC Champions League, the choice of venue has become the most troublesome issue. In addition to the top priority of epidemic prevention, how to deal with hot weather Under the circumstances to play? In comparison, the problems in West Asia are easy to solve. Qatar has built a lot of air-conditioned stadiums to host the 2022 World Cup. There is almost no problem in successfully completing the game in hot weather. However, the selection of venues in East Asia has not progressed.
Although the AFC has long announced that Malaysia will host the seventh and eighth groups of the game, mainly because the Malaysian JDT Johor will have some home court advantage, but the fifth and sixth groups will be played. There is no news so far. Moreover, with the recent global rebound of the epidemic, the Malaysian government has actually been "retiring" because some areas in Malaysia have been reclassified as "red zones", which are relatively more severely affected areas. , The anti-epidemic pressure is quite high. Under this circumstance, to host the East Asian region of the AFC Champions League and receive 7 foreign teams, the work and pressure can be imagined.
For this reason, in the executive committee meeting of the AFC in late September, in addition to accepting the suggestions of some member associations in the East Asia region, the competition was postponed to the beginning of November 15th, and the originally planned group stage and 1/ The 8 finals are divided into one stage, the quarter-finals and the 1/2 finals are divided into one stage. The arrangements are unified into one stage, and no specific host is announced.
It is understood that because the six countries participating in the AFC Champions League in East Asia, namely China, South Korea, Japan, Australia, Thailand and Malaysia, are unwilling to host the tournament, the AFC can only find another solution. As Qatar hosted the West Asia competitions smoothly and successfully, the AFC and the Qatar Football Association negotiated whether they could host the East Asia competitions from the end of November to early December? Since the Club World Cup originally scheduled to be held in Doha on December 10th may not be able to proceed as scheduled, this also allows Qatar to have the time and energy to host the East Asian region.
The reporter participated in a webinar jointly organized by the AFC, the Qatar 2022 World Cup Organizing Committee, and the Qatar Football Association last night (2nd). The theme is "How to host large-scale sports events under the epidemic". To discuss safety and medical measures. During the meeting, Ahvazbek Berdykulov, deputy director of the "Games and Football Activities Department" of the AFC Secretariat, gave a clear statement on several questions raised by reporters.
The question asked by the reporter is: Will the AFC Champions League in East Asia continue to go on normally? If the East Asian region is no longer played, does it mean that the champions produced in the West Asian region will directly become the champions of this year's AFC Champions League? Beldikulov said, "
It is worth noting that Berdykulov made it clear during the meeting that the start time of the East Asia region is November 18th, which is compared with the specific time for the start of the November 15th announced after the AFC Executive Committee meeting. It was delayed for another three days. This is obviously good news for the top four in the Super League. Because according to the plan of the Chinese Football Association, the second round of the final championship and runner-up finals of the Chinese Super League this year is scheduled for November 12th, so that the top four of the Chinese Super League can participate in the AFC Champions League after the league is over. As for the schedule conflict between the AFC Champions League and the Football Association Cup, it can only be resolved by the clubs themselves. The Chinese Football Association has previously greeted the semi-finals, that is, "there is a need to prepare for a split into two." Of course, because the Shanghai Shenhua team has been eliminated in the first round of the FA Cup, there will be no such problem.
For the semi-finals of the Chinese Super League, being able to go to Doha to compete in the AFC Champions League is actually a brand new experience, because Qatar will provide the AFC team with a training venue for the 2022 World Cup, and the venue will also be the World Cup. Moreover, it will be decided whether to enable air conditioning according to the weather conditions. For most Chinese players, it may be such a rare opportunity in a lifetime career.
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