By Farrokh Hesabi

Esteghlal, Persepolis in AFC waiting room

December 28, 2021 - 18:49

TEHRAN - The issue of removing Esteghlal and Persepolis from the AFC Champions League by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is a hot topic in Iranian football these days. The Iranian popular teams now wait for AFC’s decision on their future.

The two popular Iranian clubs are on the verge of being banned from the 2022/23 ACL due to non-compliance of their obligations to the AFC’s club licensing rules.

The AFC deadline for the two giant clubs to resolve the two major issues, joint ownership and tax debt, expired on Monday and there are still concerns for their fans as the issues could not be resolved for many years.

The seriousness of the matter has led Iran’s Ministry of Sport and Youth as the current owner of the both clubs to resolve the issue of joint ownership as soon as possible. So, the Sport Ministry decided to assign its right as an owner to another Iranian government bodies.

With the transfer of ownership of Persepolis to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance and Esteghlal Club to the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade, the problem seems to be resolved. The Asian Football Confederation has been informed of the process of the two clubs’ ownership transferring.

Now, Esteghlal and Persepolis must wait for the final decision of the Asian Football Confederation regarding the issuance of club licenses to participate in the 2022 Asian Champions League, after submitting their documents and presenting new defenses.

The license is given after a club meets criteria in five sections – Sporting, Infrastructure, Personnel, and Administrative, Legal and Financial.

Handing over the administration and control of the Reds and the Blues is a huge structural change for both clubs to achieve professional status to obtain licenses issued according to strict guidelines and bylaws.

Currently, the members of the assembly of Esteghlal and Persepolis include the ministers of Sports and Youth, Justice, and Economy. Three other ministers are supposed to be added to the commission.

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