AFC Cup 2019 final between 4.25 SC and Al Ahed to be played in Shanghai

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

The AFC Cup 2019 final between 4.25 SC and Al Ahed – originally slated to be played in Pyongyang on November 2 – will now be held in Shanghai.

With the hosts of the AFC Cup final alternating each year between the West Asia Zone champions and inter-zone champions, 4.25 – as the latter – are the designated hosts for this year’s decider.

However, the Asian Football Confederation confirmed on Tuesday that the final will now be played in Shanghai, kicking off at 5pm local time with the exact stadium to be confirmed.

“Due to the existing sanctions in place affecting DPR Korea, the AFC has been advised by its Commercial Rights Partners of the challenges in enabling among other matters, the production and broadcast delivery of the Final match, which is one of the most eagerly anticipated events in the AFC’s club calendar,” said a statement on the AFC’s official website.

“One of the key objectives in the AFC’s Vision and Mission is to foster development and promotion of football and to ensure the game is available to all in the Continent and beyond, which is also outlined in Article 2 of the AFC Statutes.

“In keeping with its objectives, the AFC, after careful consideration of the challenges affecting the commercial, broadcasting, media, accessibility and logistical arrangements, is compelled to assign the Final Match to be played in a neutral venue.

“Shanghai was established as the host venue due to its ease of access and after the Chinese Football Association confirmed their willingness to stage the Final Match for the AFC. Both clubs and Member Associations have been informed of the AFC’s decision. The kick-off time is set for 17.00 local time and host stadium for the final will be confirmed in due course.”