AFC Champions League 2023/24 football match, group stage, Group C, between Sepahan FC, a club from Iran, and Al-Ittihad, a club from Saudi Arabia, at Nagsh E-Jahan Stadium, Isfahan canceled the competition Because the players of Al-Ittihad, the visitors, refused to enter the field.
The reason Al-Ittihad’s players refused to enter the field, there is a statue of Lieutenant General Qasem Soleimani, the former commander of the Gods Force, One of the units of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Who have died since 2020 and many political protest signs Therefore, the players of Al-Ittihad refused to enter the field due to safety concerns
Even though the competition controller and competition organizing officials of the AFC asked the home team to bring protest signs and the said statue left But it was rejected. and via Sepahan, Will also file a protest with the AFC if they don’t compete.
However, after being unable to conclude, the Match commissioner decided to cancel this match immediately. The initial punishment is that Sepahan, as the home team in this match, will be forfeited 0-3 and severely punished according to AFC competition regulations, including a financial fine and compensation for expenses to officials of AFC who came to perform their duties and the copyright holder for live broadcasting as well
For “Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani,” former commander of the God Force. One of the units of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. He is considered a key figure in Iran’s military operations in the Middle East. And is considered involved in a plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the USA in 2011 before he died due to an assassinated by USA drone strike. Near Baghdad International Airport, Iraq, in 2020.
Credit Photo : Morteza Salehi/AP