Chinese clubs expect Asian Champions League travel approval

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Chinese football officials are confident the country's teams in the Asian Champions League (ACL) will be able to travel to Qatar when the competition resumes next week, even though approval has yet to be granted by authorities.

Two-time ACL champions Guangzhou Evergrande, Beijing Guoan, Shanghai SIPG and Shanghai Shenhua are still waiting for government permission to leave the country due to measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic, sources told Reuters.

The quartet are due to travel to Doha on November 14 for their ACL eastern group games, with the first matches to start on November 18, and Chinese football officials believe the teams will be cleared to play.

A-League side Perth Glory are set to play against Shanghai Shenhua on November 18, meanwhile, Sydney FC is set to face Shanghai SIPG, who has Socceroos midfielder Aaron Mooy in their side, the day after on November 19. 

Melbourne Victory are scheduled to play against Beijing Guoan on November 24 and then again on November 27. 

The ACL, which is split into western and eastern groups, was suspended in March due to the pandemic and has been moved to Qatar.

Only one Chinese club, Beijing Guoan, has played any ACL games so far this year, while clubs across the east of the continent have seen their schedules severely disrupted.

League seasons in Japan, South Korea and China either did not start when planned or were suspended in March before resuming in the summer, with competitions rescheduled to take place over a shorter time frame or reformatted completely.

Qatar hosted matches for teams from the ACL western group in September and October, although defending champions Al Hilal from Saudi Arabia were forced to withdraw when they were unable to select a full squad due to coronavirus infections.

Iranian side Persepolis defeated Al Nassr from Saudi Arabia in the semi-finals and will meet the winners of the ACL eastern group, which includes three A-League clubs, in Doha on December 19.

Source AAP