Saudi Arabian team Al Hilal, who are the Asian Champions faced Iranian club Shahr Khodro on Sunday at Al Janoub Stadium at Qatar. But the matter of concern is that the match was played despite 15 COVID cases in Al Hilal squad.
AFC denies the postponement of the matches despite Al Hilal’s plea
Al Hilal, the Saudi Arabian side had appealed to Asia’s football body, Asian Football Confederation(AFC) to postpone the Sunday’s match amid the COVID crisis.
But the body denied the plea as according to the AFC rules, Al Hilal had fourteen players available to play the game along with two goalkeepers.
Previously the Saudi side had announced that five players of the squad had tested COVID positive. Salman al-Faraj, who is the captain of the squad one of them. He ended his quarantine on Sunday as he tested negative twice.
The club had announced on Sunday that six members of the technical, medical and administrative staffs had tested positive as well.
The key members of the Saudi squad including French striker, Bafetimbi Gomis and Italian midfielder, Sebastian Giovinco missed Sunday’s game after testing positive and players from the reserves played the match.
Razvan Lucescu, Al Hilal’s manager called up players from the youth academy and were kept on the bench.
However, Al Hilal managed to end the match 0-0 draw against Shahr Khodro. The match result was enough for them to qualify for the knockout stage.
Al Hilal got their 2-0 victory over Iran’s Shahr Khodro when faced before the pandemic broke out but were not able to break the deadlock on Sunday.
Mansour al-Bishi missed a chance while Hatan Bahebri’s shot on goal was denied by Shahr Khodro goalkeeper, Mohamed Kia.
Al Hilal are currently at the top of the table with eleven points from their five games, while Shahr Khodro are still striving for a goal. They managed to clinch a point after the draw against the Saudi team.
If you like reading about MMA, make sure you check out MMAIndia.com
Also, follow India’s biggest arm wrestling tournament at ProPanja.com