Coronavirus: AFC dismisses Al-Hilal’s appeal over Champions League withdrawal

Hilal's bench players are pictured ahead of the AFC Champions League group B match between Saudi's Al-Hilal and UAE's Shabab Al-Ahli. (AFP)

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Saturday dismissed a protest lodged by Al-Hilal against their withdrawal from the Asian Champions League because they were able to name only 11 players for their final Group B fixture.

The Saudi club, who had already qualified for the last 16, said they had been determined to defend their title despite 30 players and staff becoming infected with COVID-19 in the Qatar hub where Asia’s premier club competition resumed last week.

For more coronavirus news, visit our dedicated page.

But AFC rules state teams must name a minimum of 13 players in their matchday squads and Wednesday’s game did not go ahead. The AFC ruled that Al-Hilal were “deemed to have withdrawn from the competition”.

Al-Hilal’s departure means Shabab Al Ahli Dubai progressed to the knockout stage from Group B along with Uzbeki club Pakhtakor.

For all the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

Read more:

Saudi Arabia's Al-Hilal disqualified from Asian CL after squad hit by coronavirus

Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal draw to qualify from AFC group despite 15 coronavirus cases

Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal through to Asian Champions League last 16

SHOW MORE
Last Update: Saturday, 26 September 2020 KSA 19:02 - GMT 16:02
Top