UPDATE 1-Soccer-Al Sadd player positive for COVID-19 ahead of AFC Champions League clash

(Adds details, background)

Sept 15 (Reuters) - Forward Saoud Al-Nasr from Qatar’s Al Sadd has tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of their AFC Champions League match against Al Ain, the club said on Tuesday.

Al Sadd who are in Group D of Asia’s elite club competition are scheduled to take on their opponents from the United Arab Emirates in the West Asian hub of Qatar later on Tuesday.

“All the appropriate medical support is being given to the team,” the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said in a statement.

“The player who tested positive is under medical supervision in a quarantined environment as required by the safety measures and COVID-19 protocols put in place for the tournament.”

Earlier in July, Al Sadd coach Xavi Hernandez, the former Barcelona and Spain midfielder, had tested positive for COVID-19 but was asymptomatic.

Five players and one member of staff from Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal and a player from Qatar’s Al Duhail had previously tested positive for COVID-19.

United Arab Emirates club Al Wahda were forced to withdraw from the competition after they failed to arrive in Qatar due to positive cases for the virus which led to the club being placed under quarantine.

Seven months after grinding to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic, action in the competition got underway again on Monday with three games.

Matches in the four East Asian groups will resume in a hub in Malaysia in October. The final will be in Doha on Dec. 19.

This year’s edition of the AFC Cup, Asia’s second-tier club competition, was cancelled amid the pandemic. (Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris and Pritha Sarkar)