January 22, 2020 / 4:45 AM / a month ago

Soccer-AFC moves Champions League matches out of Iran

Jan 22 (Reuters) - The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said on Wednesday two preliminary round matches of its elite club competition have been moved from Iran to neutral venues because of security concerns in the country.

AFC Champions League games scheduled to be hosted by Iranian sides Shahr Khodro (against Bahrain’s Riffa) and Esteghlal (against Kuwait SC) on Tuesday had been postponed and would be moved to the United Arab Emirates after several governments issuing travel warnings for Iran.

“To help facilitate the switch to neutral venues, which has been approved by the relevant AFC committees, the AFC will now reschedule the games to January 25, 2020 in the United Arab Emirates,” the AFC said in a statement.

Local media reported that the four Iranian clubs in the competition, including Persepolis and Sepahan, had said they would refuse to play if they cannot host games in the country. (Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford )

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