Persepolis’ opponent withdraws from ACL

TEHRAN, May 3 (MNA) -- United Arab Emirates club Al-Sharjah has pulled out of the Asian Champions League to avoid relegation in their domestic league.

News reports in the UAE indicate that the club has sent an official letter to their national association stating their intention to pull out of the continental championship in a bid to avoid relegation in their domestic league, according to ESPN star.
 
“We have decided to pull out at this time due to the problems that we have in our team as we are now threatened by relegation to the second division,” the letter read.
 
“We hope that the Asian Football Confederation will understand our situation especially as we do not have any hope left to advance from our group.”
 
Al-Sharjah qualified for the Champions League after finishing fourth in the UAE League last season but are currently 10th in the 12-team league, just four points ahead of last-placed Al-Khaleej.

They have two matches remaining in the Champions League although they were eliminated from contention after suffering their fourth straight defeat in Group B on April 21, a 5-0 hammering by Al-Shabab of Saudi Arabia.
 
The UAE FA and AFC have yet to respond to the news but under competition rules, a club withdrawing from the tournament, except in cases of force-majeure recognized by the AFC competitions committee, will be required to return all AFC financial stipends, compensate any damages or losses suffered by the opposing club, the AFC and its commercial and television partners and will be disqualified from the next edition of the competition.
 
The AFC executive committee also has the right to impose additional sanctions and fines depending on the situation.
 
Al-Sharjah is in Group B along with Iran’s Persepolis, Saudi Arabian Al-Shabab, and Al-Garrafa from Qatar.
 
Persepolis is scheduled to play Al-Sharjah on Wednesday. The Iranian representative stands second with seven points while Al-Sharjah lies fourth without any point in the group. 

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