Domestic Leagues

West Asia Social Wrap: At home with the stars

Baghdad: With football activities in West Asia halted due to the coronavirus pandemic, players have been keeping themselves active as they #StayAtHome in order to #BreakTheChain.

Football Associations, clubs and players are playing an important role in spreading awareness as they urge fans to play their part during this challenging time.

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Iraq Football Association normalisation committee chairperson Eyad Bonyan Mohammed Al-Nadawi sent the association's best wishes to AFC Elite referee Mohanad Qasim who was recently diagnosed with COVID-19.

“You have our full support,” said Bunyan in a call with Qasim. “We know very well that you will succeed in your toughest match ever and we are confident that you will beat this virus.”

Qasim, 39, has been an international referee since 2010 and has officiated in the AFC Champions League, and was in charge of the match between Palestine and Jordan in the group stage of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.

Meanwhile, Iraq national team forward Justin Meram posted a photo on his Twitter account of him watching a German Bundesliga match between Union Berlin and Bayern Munich.

"So good to watch Live football on Sunday! Hopefully us soon!" said Meram, who plays his club football with Real Salt Lake in USA’s MLS.

Clubs in West Asia showed their support for healthcare workers and the frontliners who are risking their lives to save others.

Six-time Qatar Stars League champions Al Duhail posted a video thanking all healthcare workers on International Nurses Day.

Officials from Abu Dhabi giants Al Wahda visited one of the field hospitals built to increase patient capacity for the COVID-19 pandemic.

The club paid tribute to the volunteers, nurses, doctors and officials from Emirates Red Crescent who have been working diligently to fight the coronavirus in the UAE.

In Saudi Arabia, a unique initiative was launched recently by the Saudi Arabian Football Federation where clubs and fans are encouraged to help poor families and persons in need throughout the Kingdom.

Three-time Saudi Pro League champions Al Ahli posted a video dedicated to their hardcore fans, who are shown chanting for their team.

Al Nassr defender Khaled Al Ghannam posted a video on his Twitter account while training at home on a treadmill.

The 19-year-old midfielder played in important role in Saudi Arabia’s success in the 2018 AFC U-19 Championship, scoring two goals while he also featured in the 2020 AFC U23 Championship.

Reigning AFC Champions League winners Al Hilal asked Salman Al Faraj for his five best goals and the 30-year-old midfielder picked his effort against Qatar’s Al Sadd in the first leg of the 2014 AFC Champions League quarter-finals as the best in his career.

Al Hilal edged Al Sadd thanks to Al Faraj's 71st minute goal as they continued their run to the final that year before losing to Western Sydney Wanderers.

Photo: AFC

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