September 14, 2020
Iran has said that the Asian Football Confederation has canceled television broadcasting rights of the regional champions’ league to the Islamic republic, seemingly over US sanctions against it.
Iran’s football federation said Sunday the AFC had written to it canceling the contract “due to international sanctions.”
The AFC “also cannot provide the live signal for the group stage of the Asian Champions’ League,” Iran’s official body said.
Iran’s federation has written to the AFC in protest.
Iran has “sent its representatives to the Asian Champions’ League and therefore expects the AFC to prepare the necessary framework for live broadcast of the matches … so that millions of fans in Iran can watch,” the federation said.
The United States withdrew from a landmark nuclear agreement with Iran in 2018 and reimposed harsh unilateral sanctions, targeting key oil and banking sectors.
The AFC has not yet officially commented on the matter.
The continent’s showpiece club tournament — put on hold since March due to the novel coronavirus pandemic — is set to resume on Monday in Qatar.
Four Iranian clubs, including Persepolis, Esteghlal, Shahr Khodro and Sepahan, represent Iran in the tournament.
Shahr Khodro is set to play the United Arab Emirates-based Al Ahli later Monday.
Esteghlal was also scheduled to play the UAE’s Al Wahda.
However, the Emirati side said they cannot travel after a number of their club members tested positive for the Covid-19 virus.
On Tuesday, Persepolis and Al Taawoun, as well as Sepahan and Al Nassr, are due to play.