AFC hails India's 'successful organisation' of ACL 2021 Group E matches

Goa hosted all 12 matches of the Asian Champions League Group E matches at the Fatorda Stadium in Margao from April 14 to April 29. Persepolis topped the table with 15 points, while Indian Super league club FC Ga finished third.

Brandon Fernandes

FC Goa, making its Asian Champions League debut, drew three games to pick up as many points and finished third on the table.   -  Special Arrangement

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has showered praise on the All India Football Federation (AIFF) for its "successful organisation" of AFC Champions League 2021 (West) Group E matches.

Goa hosted 12 matches at the Fatorda Stadium in Margao from April 14 to April 29. Indian Super League club FC Goa, making its AFC Champions League debut, was placed alongside Persepolis (Iran), Al Wahda (UAE) and Al Rayyan (Qatar) and the teams played each other twice in a round-robin format. Persepolis topped the table with 15 points, while Al Wahda finished second with 13. FC Goa drew three games and was third with as many points, while Al Rayyan finished at the bottom of the pack. It was the first time that any AFC Champions League group stage match was held in India.

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"Congratulations to the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the successful organisation of the AFC Champions League 2021 (West) - Group E in India. The success is no doubt a showcase of the dedication, hard work and relentless efforts of the AIFF and LOC in ensuring a high level of organisation despite the challenging circumstances," AFC general secretary Dato' Windsor John Dato said in a letter addressed to his AIFF counterpart Kushal Das.

"Our appreciation goes to the LOC for the wonderful hospitality accorded to the AFC Delegation and the Participating Clubs and for all the arrangements made to ensure and safeguard the health and wellbeing of all concerned throughout the tournament," the letter said. "Thank you, and we look forward to future collaboration with the AIFF following the successful completion of the AFC Champions League 2021 (Group Stage) - Centralised Matches," he added.

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In a statement issued on Tuesday, the AIFF thanked the AFC for its continued support. ''The All India Football Federation is extremely grateful to the Asian Football Confederation for their support and belief in AIFF’s organisation capabilities in successfully hosting the Group E matches of the AFC Champions League 2021 in Goa from April 14-29, 2021.''

''The AIFF also wants to put on record its appreciation and gratitude to the Government of Goa and its Chief Minister Shri Pramod Sawant, along with the President of the Goa Football Association Mr. Churchill Alemao, and all the GFA Executive Committee members for helping Indian Football move forward together and achieve such stupendous success amidst such trying circumstances,'' the national federation added.