The AFC praised the great success of the East Asian group competitions and the final match of the AFC Champions League, which was recently hosted by the Qatari capital, Doha, in terms of protecting the health of players, referees, fans and all parties to the game, thanks to the tight planning developed by experts, and the comprehensive medical examination. And applying the best medical standards.
The AFC said, in a report published today on its website, that Asian football has succeeded by the end of the year 2020 in overcoming the repercussions of the Coronavirus pandemic, through a series of deliberate decisions, which began last March with the decision to postpone the AFC Champions League matches after two rounds. From the start of the group stage of the West Continent clubs to a happy ending with the final match being held on December 19 between the Korean teams Ulsan Hyundai and Iranian Persepolis, as the first continental final of the Champions League competitions to be held in the presence of fans in Doha.
The report added that the AFC has worked closely with the Qatar Football Association, the health authorities in Qatar, the medical staff with the clubs, and the local organizing committee, whereby 12,139 examinations were carried out during the period from November 9 to December 19 this year. The period of recording any case of coronavirus infection inside the medical bubble.
He explained that 10 thousand additional medical examinations were conducted, in order to enable the masses to attend the exciting final with confidence and safety, and the results of all the tests were negative.
In a related context, Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa, President of the Asian Football Confederation, said, “I would like to commend the Qatar Football Association and the Qatari government for hosting the AFC Champions League this year in the pool system,” expressing his appreciation for the efforts of the medical staff in Qatar. Asian football, specifically the AFC Champions League 2020, during last September, and this coincided with the launch of the (Football Champions) campaign to express thanks to all medical workers and on the front lines.
He stated that, “Like the rest of the continental federations, the year 2020 presented a real challenge to the AFC, which faced the reality of a vast continent amid the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, but the federation was quick to draw lines for dealing with the unstable situation in which no one knew its course nor its end.” , Stressing that “all the emergency plans and remedies in the (Covid-19 /) crisis approved by the AFC put the health and safety of football elements first and foremost .. That is why we have made reasonable decisions to postpone multiple matches and events pre-programmed on the AFC agenda.”
The AFC report stated that the year 2020 witnessed the historical stability of Asian football in the face of the Corona pandemic, as for the first time in the history of television broadcasting, the TV broadcasting rights agreement was announced that includes all the major tournaments for teams and clubs that the federation supervises (namely the Asian World Cup Qualifiers – The road to the Qatar 2022 World Cup, the AFC Champions League and the AFC Cup from the 2021 season, the 2023 AFC Asian Cup in China and the AFC U-23 Cup for the 2022 and 2024 editions), to Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, with the SIA / media group. .
He pointed out that partnership agreements have also been signed with many media networks to broadcast a range of national teams and club competitions from 2021 to 2024 in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
The year 2020 also witnessed a historical precedent for the AFC after it held the 30th ordinary general assembly meeting on December 9th, via video technology, during which it was announced that it was approved to enter the North Mariana Islands as a member holding No. 47 in the AFC member federations system. The year 2020 witnessed three meetings of the Executive Office headed by Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa, which were held by means of video technology, which gave practical continuity in following up the procedures, decisions and recommendations, and contributed to laying the map to cross the crisis with excellence.
In this context, Sheikh Salman affirmed, “This year has been full of challenges for everyone in the world of football. We have planned to overcome the crisis by involving everyone in decision-making. We have prioritized health security and worked with a focus on balancing the obligations of our media partners with the reality of the continent in light of the crisis. The federation is proud.” The Asian Football League has succeeded in arranging the calendar of its competitions and in organizing the AFC Champions League in a distinctive and safe manner, for the benefit of clubs and national federations.
He revealed that at the end of last June, the AFC closed the door for applications to organize the AFC Asian Cup 2027, as the federation received five applications from the game federations in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, India, Iran and Uzbekistan .. And the continental federation began working with each of the five federations on documents. Nomination files, provided that the winning file for hosting honor be announced in 2021.
The president of the AFC appreciated the remarkable interaction shown by the national federations wishing to organize the 2027 AFC Asian Cup, indicating that this interaction consecrates the great position of the tournament on the continental football map and embodies the attractiveness of the continental event and its unlimited influence in the advancement of the game system in the Asian continent.
He stressed that the continental federation also succeeded in mobilizing the necessary support for the file submitted by Australia and New Zealand in order to host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, as the joint file gained the confidence of the FIFA Council during the meeting held on June 25, and this file competed with the Colombia file, While the Japanese Football Association announced the withdrawal of the nomination file to host the tournament.