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Iran, Saudi Arabia not to play each other in neutral venues: AFC

Tehran Times - The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) ordered Iranian and Saudi Arabian teams should not meet each other in neutral venues.

In March 2016, AFC had ruled the clubs from Saudi Arabia and Iran had to play each other at neutral venues.

The decision was taken after two countries failed to resolve their political differences ahead of a deadline set by Asian football's governing body.

Head of Iran Football Federation Mehdi Taj attended a meeting held in Tokyo, Japan on Friday and protested the decision taken by AFC, imposing the ban on Iranian teams to play Saudi Arabian teams in neutral venues.

Iran is surely the safest country in the Middle East as the country has hosted Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq matches in the recent years, Taj said.   

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.

Three other Iranian clubs Esteghlal Khuzestan, Zob Ahan and Esteghlal also met Saudi Arabian teams Al-Fateh, Al-Ahli and Al-Taawoun respectively in Oman. 

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