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Chinese Champions League qualifier to be played behind closed doors due to coronavirus

Shanghai SIPG players Oscar and Hulk will play their Champions League qualifier behind closed doors.

Shanghai SIPG will play their 2020 AFC Champions League playoff against Buriram United of Thailand on Tuesday behind closed doors as China tries to contain the spread of the coronavirus that has already claimed the lives of 41 people.

Buriram had requested to the Asian Football Confederation that the game be postponed due to the growing public health emergency but instead China's first game since the outbreak of the virus in the central city of Wuhan will take place behind closed doors after a...

AFC moves Asian Champions League matches out of Iran

No Iranian side has won the Asian Champions League since it was created in 2002.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has shifted two preliminary matches in its elite club competition from Iran to neutral venues because of security concerns, Asian soccer's governing body said on Wednesday.

Shahr Khodro FC were scheduled to host Bahrain's Riffa and Esteghlal FC were set to play Kuwait SC on Tuesday but both Asian Champions League matches were postponed after several governments issued warnings against travelling to Iran.

"To help facilitate the switch to neutral venues, which...

India get third AFC slot for 2021, possible direct ACL group entry

Indian clubs are set to get an additional slot in AFC competitions in 2021, possibly with a direct entry into the AFC Champions League (ACL) group stages. It would be the first time an Indian team would feature in Asia's elite club competition in more than 30 years -- Goa-based Salgaocar were the last team to feature in group games of the erstwhile Asian Club Championship in 1990-91.

This would mean apart from the one slot for the ACL, India would get two slots for the AFC Cup. 

As of now,...

Asian player of the year Abdelkarim Hassan banned 5 months for ref spat

Abdelkarim Hassan led Al Sadd to a Qatari title last season.

Asia's reigning player of the year has been banned for five months for confronting a referee in the Asian Champions League semifinals.

The Asian Football Confederation banned Abdelkarim Hassan, the left-back of Qatari champion Al Sadd, from all their club competitions until March 20 -- a punishment of just three matches overall.

FIFA said Hassan will be able to play at the Club World Cup in Qatar in December, which will include Al Sadd. He can also play in domestic games.

Hassan reacted aggressively,...