Qatari officials are confident that refinements made to health protocols for the resumption of eastern half of the Asian Champions League will prevent novel coronavirus infections from again influencing the outcome of the competition.

The continent’s premier club competition has been delayed and heavily disrupted by the global health crisis this year, not least when the western half was completed in a biosecure bubble in Doha in September and October.

A rash of positive tests played havoc with team selections and title holders Al Hilal was unable to complete its fixtures after infections left the club with only 11 fit players, two of them goalkeepers.

Fifteen teams from east Asia have arrived in the Qatari capital to complete the group and knockout stages to determine who progresses to the final against Iran’s Persepolis at Al Janoub Stadium on Dec. 19.

Dr Abdul Wahab Al Musleh, the…

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