AFC Champions League matches between Saudi, Iranian teams moved to neutral venues

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SHAFAQNA- Football teams from Saudi Arabia and Iran will play their Asian Champions League matches at neutral venues this year due to the poor relations between the two countries.

Saudi Arabia cut all ties with Iran in January after protestors attacked its Tehran embassy.

This followed the kingdom’s execution of a prominent Shia cleric.

Regional governing body the Asian Football Confederation gave until March 15 for normal relations to be resumed between the two countries.

“It is most unfortunate for the AFC to learn that … the Saudi Arabian government has yet to lift the travel restrictions on their nationals, which prohibit travel to Iran,” the AFC said in a letter to the governing bodies of both countries, according to Reuters.

“Furthermore, there has been no significant development in the relationship between the two countries concerned.”

Last month an official from Iranian champions Sepahan told the newswire that Iran might withdraw its teams from the tournament if they were prevented from hosting matches against Saudi clubs.

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