Kayhan London – The Iranian football club Persepolis has reached the 2018 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Championship League final after a 1-1 draw with Qatari Al-Sadd in the second leg of the West Asia semi-final match on October 23. With an overall score of 2-1, Persepolis was able to maintain its lead against Al-Sadd and advance to the finals.
Sports authorities allowed more than 100,000 football fans to attend the match at Tehran Azadi Stadium, which exceeded the venue’s maximum capacity of 70,000 seats. People were sitting and standing in the aisles; as a result, 274 fans were injured, four seriously, when the crowd tried to exit the stadium after the match. Adel Ferdowsi, a journalist and football commentator, had warned the sports authorities about overselling tickets to the game.
Tehran police and stadium security did not allow girls and women to attend the match, but some were reportedly able to sneak in disguised as men. Many female fans, however, joined others in streets around the country to celebrate the club’s achievement.
Meanwhile, some Qatari media have speculated that Al-Sadd club will soon replace its South African manager Manuel Jesualdo Ferreira with Xavier Hernández Creus, a Spanish international and the team’s central midfielder and captain.
The AFC fined Persepolis’ Croatian manager Branko Ivankovic $1,000 and banned him from attending the second game with Al-Saad after he insulted the referee at the match with the Qatari football team Al-Duhail. He has 30 days to pay the fine.
The AFC has also fined Persepolis F.C. $12,500 for repeatedly violating the doping rules.
Translated from Persian by Fardine Hamidi