Domestic Leagues

West Asia Social Wrap: At home with the stars

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

Member Associations, clubs and players are playing an important role in spreading awareness as they urge fans to stay at home to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Qatar's AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 winning captain Hassan Al Haydos launched an initiative urging his teammates at his club Al Sadd to reduce their salaries because of the COVID19 pandemic.

“Out of my sense of responsibility towards my beloved country, I announce that I'm giving away part of my salary to express my support for all the efforts that are being made to confront this epidemic,” said Al Haydos.

Abdelkarim Hassan, the 2018 AFC Player of the Year, also announced on his Twitter account that he is joining Al Haydos' in taking a paycut.

Al Sadd also announced that head coach Xavi, team captain Boualem Khoukhi and other players have all accepted pay cuts to support the fight against COVID-19.

AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 top scorer Almoez Ali has also agreed to a pay cut at Al Duhail.

“I still remember the day that I wore the national team jersey and then I realised that the pitch is a field where I try to honour the flag of the country,” said the 23-year-old. “I, Almoez Ali, decided to deduct part of my salary in order to help fight the pandemic.”

Ali's Al Duhail clubmates have also agreed to give away part of their salaries to help their club and country during these difficult times.

With all football activities on hold, 2019 AFC Champions League winners Al Hilal SFC posted a video of their president, coach and players having a video conference call where they shared some of their activities during these times of social distancing.

The Saudi Pro League defending champions Al Nassr shared a message on their Twitter account of fans sharing messages of health awareness.

In another impressive initiative, three-time Saudi league champions Al Ahli launched a blood donation campaign at the club's headquarters where Vice President Yaser Mahrous, along with forwards Omar Al Soma and Salman Al Moasher and goalkeeper Yasser Al Mosailem, donated blood.

Kuwait Football Association, meanwhile, announced that the futsal team have started training through videoconferencing in preparation for the 2020 AFC Futsal Championship.

Kuwait will be making their 12th appearance in the competition, having been drawn in and they were drawn in Group B with three-time champions Japan, Kyrgyz Republic and Lebanon.

Kuwait FA's Public Relations Committee members have also volunteered in the Kuwait Civil Defence as part of efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Players, officials and fans from different clubs took part the UAE Pro League e-football championship Battle of The Stars.

Fujairah FC emerged as the winners, beating Bani Yas in the final after an impressive performance from their goalkeeper Abdullah Ismael and midfielder Ahmed Mousa who showed their outstanding virtual football skills.

Also in UAE, Ittihad Kalba distributed medical masks and gloves for workers in the industrial areas of the city and the labour residential areas.

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