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Iranian teams select neutral venues to host Saudi Arabian rivals

Iranian ACL teams

Tehran Times - Iranian popular club Persepolis have chosen Dubai, the UAE as the neutral venue to host Saudi Arabian team Al Taawoun at the group stage of the 2020 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League.

The Saudi Arabian side have already chosen Al Kuwait Sports Club Stadium in Kuwait City.

Persepolis’s Head of International Relations, Amir Ali Hosseini, said: “Persepolis club have selected Zabeel Stadium to host the Saudi Arabia representative and we have announced it to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).”

Zabeel Stadium is in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and it is the official home pitch for the UAE League side Al Wasl.

Persepolis have also announced that the match against Al Taawoun which will be their first home match (at a neutral venue in Dubai).

Sepahan, the other representative of Iran in 2020 AFC Champions League, have selected Doha, Qatar to host Al Nassr from Saudi Arabia. The Isfahan-based club selected Grand Hamad Stadium, the current home ground of Al-Arabi team in Duha. The Stadium holds 13000 people.

Esteghlal and Shahr Khodro are also other Iranian teams in the AFC Champions League who have yet to announce neutral zones to host their Saudi Arabian opponents.

The 2020 AFC Champions League group stage will be played from 10 February to 6 May 2020. A total of 32 teams will compete in the group stage to decide the 16 places in the knockout stage of the 2020 AFC Champions League.

Since 2016, matches between clubs from Iran and Saudi Arabia have been played in neutral venues due to political tensions between the two countries.

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