Doha: Ahmed Khellil Abbassi (pictured), Director of Team Services Department in the Local Organizing Committee of 2020 AFC Champions League’s (ACL) East Zone tournament, has said Qatar is honoured to contribute towards the resumption of AFC Champions League, which was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
After hosting the West Region event of the top Asian league, Qatar is currently staging the East Zone matches, with the final also slated to be held in Doha next month.
“We’re honoured towards contributing to the continuation of football competition by hosting the AFC Champions League for Asia’s East Zone clubs as well as the tournament’s final, which will be played at the Al Janoub Stadium, one of the venues for 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, on 19th of December,” said Abbassi.
“This tournament is being held in exceptional and unprecedented circumstances due to the outbreak of COVID-19, as competitions are held in accordance with strict health protocol and precautionary measures with the aim of preserving the health and safety of everyone.”
He pointed out that all requirements of the participating teams were met and their needs were well taken care of, through complete co-ordination with the clubs and in co-operation with the LOC and AFC.
With regard to the stadiums that host matches and training facilities, Abbassi confirmed that the competitions are being held at venues that have cooling technology. Three training sites have also been used (training complexes at Qatar University, Al Oqla and Al Ersal) and they are equipped to serve the same purpose during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. That allows the players to train at modern facilities complying with the standards of world governing body FIFA, so all participants have the opportunity to get familiarized with the many features of the 2022 World Cup.
Regarding the timing of the start of the matches, the official said: “The timing of the matches in the tournament is similar to the date of the 2022 World Cup matches, which will be held after two years."
"The time difference for the continent’s East Zone has also been taken into account, so it does not affect the clubs, reiterating the fact that our stadiums are ready to host any match at any time of the year," he added.
In his concluding remarks, Abbassi highlighted that hosting such tournaments contributes towards the continuation of development process on the path of success, leading up to the most important event — the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.