News ID : 152347
Publish Date : 10/4/2023 12:14:33 PM
Everything about the absence of Al-Ittihad against Sepahan; Who is right?


Everything about the absence of Al-Ittihad against Sepahan; Who is right?

On the 2nd night of October, Iran's Sepahan football team was supposed to host Saudi Arabia's Al-Ittihad, but this team did not show up in front of Sepahan and its 50,000 passionate fans, at the end, this game was canceled. In the meantime, various statements were made by officials of Sepahan Club, Football Federation and Saudi officials about the reasons for the cancellation of this game, which necessitates the need to clarify the reasons for this incident.

NOURNEWS- On Monday night, Iran's Sepahan team hosted Saudi Arabia's Al-Ittihad in the second week of the Asian Champions League from the group stage, and these two teams were supposed to meet at Naghsh-e Jahan Stadium in Isfahan at 19:30.

But this match was canceled by the match supervisor after the half-hour delay because of Al-Ittihad players not wanting to appear on the field, and the case of 3 points of this match was submitted to the report of the match supervisor and the investigation of the disciplinary committee of the Asian Football Confederation.

From the very first minutes that Al-Ittihad’ players did not appear on the field, some claims were made regarding the cancellation of the match due to the presence of the statue of Martyr Haj Qasem Soleimani in the stadium. These claims were made while players of Al-Ittihad trained on the same field the other day and saw the same statue during their training, and they did not have any issue with it. On the other hand, the statue of General Soleimani has been installed in Nagsh Jahan Stadium in the last four years and many international games have been held in this stadium since then.

After leaving Iran, Al-Ittihad Club announced in a statement that the AFC supervisor informed them that the game will not be held, and for this reason, the team's convoy left the stadium for the airport.

But the noteworthy point is that the Al-Ittihad team did not have its main stars in this match and 3 stars of this team were absent in this game due to injuries, and they had to play in such conditions in the Naghsh Jahan Stadium, where 50 thousand passionate spectators were present to root for Sepahan, Al-Ittihad had to face Sepahan in these circumstances.

In the meantime, various statements about the cancellation of this game were made by some officials of the Iranian Football Federation, which created new margins and raised a lot of questions. The most strange and thought-provoking statement in this regard was the reaction of the Secretary General of the Football Federation, who announced: The game was not held due to some security issues!

After that, the director of public relations of Sepahan club in Isfahan, protested against the lack of support of the Iranian Football Federation for this club in a statement and announced that the statements of the secretary general of the federation and the emphasis on the existence of a “security issue” in the Oafs Jahan stadium, has mounted nothing but rather just added to the ambiguity of the story and raised more unnecessary questions and concerns in the minds of football fans.

The security issue has been raised by the general secretary of the federation while the Naghsh Jahan stadium was approved by the AFC supervisor at 11:00 a.m. on the same day and permission to hold the match was issued.

After the public relations statement of Sepahan club, the football federation did not sit idly and continued this conversation with a new statement. According to the announcement of the Football Federation, “Naghsh jahan” has been approved by all the clubs that have played in this stadium before, and no changes have been made to host this stadium in the past two years.

Earlier, the AFC also announced in a statement that the game was canceled due to unexpected and unforeseen circumstances, which itself can emphasize the rejection of the claim of “security issue”.

Ayman Al-Rifai, the former head of the Disciplinary Committee of the Saudi Football Federation, said in a statement that there is a possibility that Al-Ittihad has committed a mistake, and if it is proven, the match will be declared five-zero in favor of Sepahan and Al-Ittihad will be fined $10,000. Furthermore, this Saudi football club will be banned from the competition and if the Asian Football Confederation determines that none of the two teams are guilty, the game may be held at a different time.

A point that is very important to pay attention to and was emphasized in the conversation between the foreign minister of Iran and his Saudi counterpart regarding this game, is that sports should not be allowed to be used as a political lever to put pressure on the two countries.

BY: Pooya Mirzaei 


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