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Saudi Arabia, Iran dispute forces Champions League schedule switch

DOHA, Qatar -- The Asian Football Confederation has switched its Champions League schedule to delay matches between clubs from Saudi Arabia and Iran amid diplomatic tension.

The AFC says it set a March 15 deadline for "a return to normal relations" otherwise all matches between teams from the countries will be played at neutral venues.

The governing body wants "to obtain independent evaluation on the safety and security situation" by mid-March.

Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic ties with Iran this...

Thailand grab late point against Saudi Arabia in AFC U23 championship

Kiatisuk Senamuang's side held Saudi Arabia to a 1-1 draw on Wednesday.

Pinyo Inpinit's late goal rescued a point for Thailand as they drew the opening game of the AFC U23 Championship 1-1 with Saudi Arabia.

Thailand looked like they were going to pay the ultimate price for squandering several clear-cut chances throughout the game when Mohammed Al-Saiari nodded in the opening goal with 20 minutes remaining.

But Pinyo fired home with six minutes left on the clock to ensure that the Thais earned some reward for an impressive display in the Group B game in Qatar.

Kiatisuk...

Saudi Arabia, Iran tensions escalate ahead of ACL group stage

Al Ahli vs. Naft Tehran
Saudi side Al Ahli and Iran's Naft Tehran met in the round of 16 stage of the 2015 Asian Champions League.

The political tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran may filter onto the soccer pitch in the coming weeks with teams from the two nations due to play each other in the Asian Champions League and the Asian Under-23 Championships.

Relations between the countries deteriorated sharply in early January when Saudi Arabia executed a prominent Shiite cleric and Iranian protesters responded by attacking the Saudi embassy in Tehran and a consulate in another city. Riyadh then broke off diplomatic relations...

Chanathip doubtful for Thailand's AFC U23 opener vs. Saudi Arabia

Chanathip Songkrasin may not feature in Thailand's AFC U23 game against Saudi Arabia.

Thailand kick off their AFC U23 championship campaign against 2013 runners-up Saudi Arabia in Group B on Wednesday but preparations have been dealt a major blow with captain Chanathip 'Messi J' Songkrasin suffering from illness.

Head coach Kiatisuk Senamuang has taken a strong squad to Qatar and named Chanathip -- the BEC Tero Sasana playmaker -- as the man to lead the side in their attempt to make it out of a tough group, also featuring Japan and North Korea.

Chanathip is suffering from a heavy...

Saudi federation won't send Champions League clubs to Iran

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- Saudi Arabia's football federation says its clubs will not play Asian Champions League matches in Iran amid rising diplomatic tension.

The decision at a SAFF executive meeting comes days after individual clubs refused to travel to Iran for safety reasons when the competition kicks off next month.

Two Saudi clubs are already scheduled to play in Iran and a playoff round could create two more matches there.

Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic ties with Iran on Sunday.

A dispute...