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AFC launches investigation into final World Cup qualifier round

Published: Updated:

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has launched of a series of investigations of breaches of regulations at the Asian final round World Cup qualifying matches according to a statement released on Wednesday.

The AFC said that “Investigations have begun following reports of breaches of regulations at the FIFA World Cup 2018 Asian Final Round Qualifying matches played on September 5, 2017,”.

“The AFC is currently waiting to receive all relevant reports before proceeding with the next steps,” the AFC added.

AFC Senior Vice President Praful Patel said in a second statement on Thursday that he has been asked by the AFC President Shaikh Salman Al Khalifa to adjudicate in matters which affect the “West Asia Zone during the present challenging times and I will carry out those duties by ensuring this is a most comprehensive investigation”.

The investigations according to the two statements will be focusing on games on September 5 in the West Asia Zone.

It is understood from the two statements that the investigations will be focusing on the games between Iran and Syria, Saudi Arabia and Japan, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates and Qatar that hosted China.

The Confederation said that it received reports of breaches of regulations at the World Cup qualifiers without mentioning from who or on which match.

Patel added that he was asked by President Al Khalifa to oversee issues in West Asia to avoid any potential conflict of interest.

The Match Commissioners, the Member Associations, AFC staff and commercial partners and agents will be asked to submit accounts of alleged breaches of regulations at all the FIFA World Cup 2018 Asian Final Round Qualifying matches. The AFC will assist world-governing body FIFA with the process.

“It is vital to the reputation of the AFC that it continues to uphold the highest standard of integrity as laid out in the AFC’s Vision and Mission objectives. They state clearly that the AFC will ensure its competitions, matches and the conduct of its people conform to the highest ethical and sporting standards,” Patel added.