AFC Champions League final to be played in Doha, Qatar

This year’s AFC Champions League single-leg final will be held in Doha, Qatar on Dec. 19, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said on Friday.

Following the successful conclusion of the AFC Champions League 2020 West Zone in Qatar recently, and the upcoming preparations to host the East Zone matches next month, the Qatar Football Association (QFA) has met all the necessary hosting capability and capacity and medical infrastructure, the football governing body said in a statement.

AFC general secretary Windsor John said the COVID-19 pandemic has complicated the decision on the venue this year, especially over travel and health restrictions.

“In addition to the numerous restrictions, the AFC also wanted to protect the important principle of sporting fair play. This will be, unlike previous years, a one-off final and we therefore needed to ensure that there was no unfair advantage to one team or the other,” he said.

“The safety and wellbeing of all participating clubs as well as the protection of all stakeholders has been crucial to the AFC so we must thank the Qatar Football Association and the Qatar local authorities and ministries for putting in place the necessary health measures and effective medical protocols,” he added.

The AFC Champions League East Zone Group Stage will kick off on Nov. 18, before the Round of 16 takes place from Dec. 6-7. The knockout stage will start with the quarterfinals on Dec. 10 before the semifinals on Dec. 13.