Neutral venues proposed

RIYADH. — Saudi football clubs in the Asian Champions League have appealed for their fixtures in Iran to be played elsewhere after a sharp escalation of tensions between the two rival nations.

Al-Ahli, Al-Hilal, Al-Ittihad and Al-Nasr called in statements on their respective websites for the matches against their Iranian counterparts to be played on neutral grounds.

The clubs are expected to ask the Saudi Arabian Football Federation to officially submit the request to the Asian Football Confederation ahead of the next round of AFC Champions League fixtures in February.

Relations between Saudi Arabia and its regional arch-rival Iran dramatically deteriorated following the weekend execution of Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr in the Sunni-dominated kingdom. — AFP.

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