Sharjah still face sanctions after ACL withdrawal
The Asian Football Confederation have acknowledged Sharjah's withdrawal from the Asian Champions League but warned that further disciplinary action could follow for the United Arab Emirates club.
Currently bottom of Group B after losing their first four matches in the competition, Sharjah informed the UAE Football Association over the weekend that they were throwing in the towel in order to focus on their battle against relegation from their domestic league.
UAE FA general secretary Yousef Mohd Abdullah duly informed the AFC of the club's decision in a letter and while the AFC acknowledged it, they confirmed that "all necessary action would be taken" in accordance with the competition's regulations.
"We regret their decision. We must now consider further action," said AFC Champions League project director Tokuaki Suzuki in a statement on the confederation's website.
According to competition regulations, clubs who withdraw after the tournament has kicked off may be asked to pay compensation for losses and damages suffered by other clubs, member associations, the AFC and their commercial and television partners.
They will also have to return all AFC financial stipends and face disqualification from the next edition of the Champions League.
The matter will also be referred to the AFC disciplinary committee where further sanctions will be considered.
Sharjah qualified for the Champions League after finishing fourth in the UAE top flight last season but are currently 10th in the 12-team league with three matches remaining.
With the bottom two to go down, Sharjah are three points ahead of 11th-placed Al Shaab and four in front of bottom side Al Khaleej.