Iran teams’ AFC Champions League matches moved to UAE

Last year winners, Al-Hilal, faced Japanese Urawa Red Diamonds in the finals. (File/AFP)
Updated 22 January 2020

Iran teams’ AFC Champions League matches moved to UAE

  • Tensions were raised earlier this month by the killing of an Iranian army general by a US drone strike in Iraq
  • The Iranian teams will play against Bahrain and Kuwait

KUALA LUMPUR: Two Iranian football clubs’ AFC Champions League preliminary round matches have been moved to a neutral country because of security fears, Asia football’s governing body announced Wednesday.
The Asian Football Confederation said the ties — Shahr Khodro FC of Iran v Riffa of Bahrain and Iran’s Esteghlal FC v Kuwait SC — will now be played in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday, January 25.
Both the matches were scheduled to be played in Iran on Tuesday but were postponed and “moved to neutral venues because of ongoing security concerns and the decision of several governments to issue travel warnings to the Islamic Republic of Iran,” said an AFC statement.
Tensions were raised earlier this month by the killing of an Iranian army general by a US drone strike in Iraq.
Iran’s armed forces subsequently shot down a Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 in error soon after take-off from Tehran, killing all 176 people on board.
The four football teams representing Iran in the AFC Champions League — Esteghlal, Persepolis, Sepahan and Shahr Khodro — have all threatened to boycott the competition if they are banned from hosting matches.


Saudi helpers step up to the tee at first women’s golf tournament

Updated 26 February 2020

Saudi helpers step up to the tee at first women’s golf tournament

  • Volunteers will have the chance to step inside the ropes and get up close with the sport’s leading players

JEDDAH: Saudi volunteers will be able to write their names into the history books by helping at the first-ever Saudi Ladies International professional golf tournament.

Competition organizers are looking to recruit hundreds of people to help with the smooth running of the four-day event from March 19-22 at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC).

Volunteers will have the chance to step inside the ropes and get up close with the sport’s leading players, including Order of Merit winner Beth Allen, three-time Ladies European Tour (LET) winner Carly Booth and Solheim Cup hero Azahara Munoz, as they compete for $1 million in prize money. 

The LET tournament in Saudi Arabia will mark the first time that professional female golfers have played competitively in the country, and comes hot on the heels of last month’s triumphant men’s equivalent, the Saudi International, won by Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell.

Online registration is now open for the debut event’s volunteers’ program.

Volunteers will be briefed before the event and receive a tournament uniform to wear while they work.

Marshals, including traveling, static, crossing and transitional positions, will be required for the tournament. Mobile scoreboard operators and walking scorers are among other roles that will offer volunteers a unique insight into the world-class event.

Mike Oliver, event director at Golf Saudi, said: “For the first year of this event, we are offering volunteers a chance to be part of history, working at the first professional women’s golf event to be held in the country.

“Volunteers, from both Saudi Arabia and abroad, will play a key role in helping us deliver a successful inaugural tournament,” he said.

A certificate of service will be presented to volunteers at the completion of the tournament.

As a bonus, volunteers will have their photo taken with the 2020 ladies winner during the prize presentation — a moment that will be seen by a worldwide audience via live broadcasts.