A-League teams committed to ACL despite health concerns

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Sydney FC, Melbourne Victory and Perth Glory appear committed to playing out their Asian Champions League fixtures despite players' health and safety concerns.

The eastern zone fixtures for the continental competition will be completed in a hub in Qatar from November 15.

Sydney FC, Perth Glory and Melbourne Victory are preparing to travel to the Middle East nation despite ongoing concerns about biosecurity protocols and quarantine procedures upon return to Australia.

The tournament has been split in half due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the western zone competition completed in Qatar last month.

That event was eventually won by Iran's Persepolis, who will meet the eastern zone winner in the tournament's final in Doha on December 18 but was overshadowed by a coronavirus outbreak.

Defending champion Al-Hilal was forced to withdraw when they couldn't field a full team for a group stage fixture after a reported 31 players and officials tested positive for the virus.

United Arab Emirates' team Al-Wahda didn't event make the western zone hub due to travel restrictions.

While the three A-League clubs are set to depart for Qatar in coming days, Australia's players' union says it still has welfare concerns for its members.

"The challenges posed by the ongoing impact of COVID-19 means that players, staff and the clubs are being asked to make significant sacrifices to allow for our continued participation in this year's competition," Professional Footballers Australia co-chief executive Beau Busch said.

"We are continuing work collaboratively with the clubs and coaches, through Football Coaches Australia, and FIFPro to address the players' concerns in relation to their health and safety and to ensure their preparations for the upcoming season are not compromised.

"This remains the priority for all parties."

International union FIFPro also released a statement about the eastern zone dates, saying player associations in Australia, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and Thailand were consulted about the competition fixture.

"Furthermore, we have not received any information about the outbreak of COVID-19 in the tournament's so-called "medical bubble" during the western AFC region competition in September," the FIFPro statement said.

An additional concern for the Australian clubs is the fear the imposition of a standard 14-day hotel quarantine could leave players facing an unacceptable risk of injury.

All three clubs are confident of receiving exemptions to train during their quarantine periods but with the 2020-21 A-League season kicking off on December 27, preparations for the season will be affected.

The group stages run until the first week of December with knockout matches continuing until the middle of next month, meaning progression deep into the tournament will ensure clubs are spending Christmas in quarantine.

Source AAP