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Saudi Arabia to host AFC Champions League final in November
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 20 - 08 - 2021

KUALA LUMPUR — The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced on Friday that the quarterfinals, semifinals and final match of the 2021 AFC Champions League for the Western Region would be held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The AFC Executive Committee ratified the AFC Competitions Committee's decision to host centralized matches in the knockout stages in the AFC Champions League for the current version.
Saudi Arabia will host the final of this year's Asian Champions League on Nov. 23, the AFC confirmed on Friday. No venue city has been announced, but the quarterfinal and semifinal matches involving teams from the west of Asia — due to be held on Oct. 16 and 19 respectively — will also be played the Kingdom.
In the past few days, the Emirates and Tajikistan had submitted requests to host the matches, but the Asian Confederation decided that the hosting would be in the Kingdom
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Football Association Yasser Al-Mishal thanked the leadership of the Kingdom and the Minister of Sports and President of the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee Prince Abdulaziz Al-Faisal for their support to the sports sector.
He stressed that the AFC decision to choose the Kingdom to host the 2021 AFC Champions League final is evidence of the success of the Kingdom in hosting previous events.
Two clubs from Saudi Arabia remain involved in the competition, with former champions Al Hilal due to play Iran's Esteghlal in the last 16 while Al Nasr will face off against Tractor, also from Iran. Both teams are based in Riyadh.
The AFC has had to alter the format of the competition because of COVID-19 travel restrictions in place in many Asian nations, with games in the knockout rounds played on a single-match basis rather than as home-and-away clashes.
Round of 16 games will be held from Sept. 13 to 15 around the region, with the draw for the quarterfinals to be held on Sept. 17.
The Korea Football Association has already been confirmed as the centralized host Member Association for the east region matches, which will be staged in Jeonju from Oct. 17 to 20.

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