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Fans to return for Asian Champions League for first time since March

HONG KONG: Spectators will be permitted to attend Saturday’s final of the Asian Champions League between Persepolis and Ulsan Hyundai in Doha, the first time fans will be allowed to watch the competition in person since play was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Asian Football Confederation announced on the eve of the decider between the clubs from Iran and South Korea that spectators totalling “up to 30 percent of the stadium capacity” would be allowed into the 40,000-seater Al Janoub Stadium.

All spectators will be required to supply a negative result for a COVID-19 antigen test, with tickets available thereafter on a first-come first-served basis.

Authorities in Qatar have previously allowed fans to attend matches in Doha, with a crowd of 1,044 admitted to the national team’s 2022 World Cup qualifier with Bangladesh earlier this month.

Games in the Asian Champions League were suspended earlier this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the event resuming in September when Qatar hosted teams from the west of Asia in a centralised bio-secure bubble.

Persepolis qualified for the final from that mini-tournament before Ulsan progressed through a similar event, also held in Doha from mid-November, for teams from the east of the continent.

Ulsan are aiming to win the Asian Champions League for the second time in the club’s history after claiming the title in 2012 while Persepolis are seeking to secure their maiden victory in the continent’s premier club competition.

(Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Giles Elgood)

Source: Reuters

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