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Esteghlal choose Qatar to host Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal

Esteghlal - ACL 2018

Tehran Times - Iranian football club Esteghlal selected Qatar country as the neutral venue to host the forthcoming match against Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia at the group stage of the 2018 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League.

The Iranian Blues have been scheduled to face the ACL runners-up on Feb. 20.

Esteghlal are grouped with Al Hilal, Al Rayyan of Qatar and Winner Play-off West 1 in Group D.

Another Iranian club Tractor Sazi have been drawn along with Al Ahli of Saudi Arabia in Group A.

It seems Tractor Sazi will choose Qatar to host the Saudi Arabian team.

According to Asian Football Confederation, clubs from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Iran should play on a home and away basis in 2018 as per the AFC regulations, but Saudi Arabia violated the order as their teams will not come to Iran to play Persian teams.

Iranian giants Persepolis were forced to play Saudi Arabian clubs Al Ahli and Al Hilal in Muscat and Abu Dhabi in the 2017 AFC Champions League.

The 2018 AFC Champions League group stage is scheduled to be played from 12 February to 18 April 2018.

 A total of 32 teams compete in the group stage to decide the 16 places in the knockout stage of the 2018 AFC Champions League.

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