By Farrokh Hesabi

Persepolis confirmed as 2020 ACL finalists

November 16, 2020 - 21:57

TEHRAN - Iran’s Persepolis FC have been confirmed as the finalists of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC)’s Champions League by the decision of the confederation’s Appeal Committee.

The Iranian giants sealed their spot at the final match of the prestigious clubs’ competitions, to be held on Dec.19 in Doha, after a magnificent performance in the 2020 AFC Champions League (West), which was also played in a centralized format in Doha.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Appeal Committee on Monday dismissed the appeal lodged by Al Nassr, Saudi Arabia, against the decision of the AFC Disciplinary and Ethics Committee (DEC).

The Saudi club, Al Nassr, who lost to Persepolis in the 2020 AFC Champions League semi-final match, had claimed that the Iranian club had committed blatant violations of FIFA rules by using "several illegal players" in their squad during the AFC's Champions League (ACL) semi-final.

However, in October 2020, the AFC DEC dismissed the protest lodged by Al Nassr, according to Article 59 of the AFC Champions League 2020 Competition Regulations.

Al Nasr appealed the decision. It went to the AFC Appeal Committee, which confirmed the DEC's primary decision and rejected the Saudi club’s claims regarding certain Persepolis players' eligibility.

However, as it is said in some Saudi media, Al Nassr FC have not given up and intend to take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and once again appeal to the issued verdict.

Alireza Ghadir, Iranian legal expert, who has cooperated with the Persepolis club's legal team in the above-mentioned case, talked to Tehran Times in this regard.

“After receiving the first complaint by Al Nassr club, we had less than 48 hours to serve and declare Persepolis’ defense bill to the AFC’ disciplinary committee. It was a hard job, but with the cooperation between the club and the Iranian football federation, we prepared a good defense bill in due time. The same happened after the appeal by the Saudi club to the AFC Appeal Committee, and Al Nassr’s appeal was rejected again,” he said.

Regarding the Al Nassr’s appeal before CAS, Ghadir said: “Normally the process of appealing before CAS takes a long time. The Asian Football Confederation has confirmed Persepolis as the finalists of the AFC Champions League. It is unlikely that Al Nassr’s appeal will be resolved before the final game,” he concluded.

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