Goa to host Group E matches of AFC Champions League 2021.
Ushering in a wave of thrill and joy for all football lovers in Goa, Fatorda Stadium in Margao will be a witness to Group E matches of the champions league, being conducted by the Asian Football Confederation. This group includes FC Goa which is India's first football club to directly enter into the group stage of the prestigious intra-continental championship after beating domestic teams and securing the top spot in the Indian Super League.
Matches to be held from April 14 to 30
#ACL2021. Let's go! https://t.co/H0LymIP7tg— AFC (@AFC) 1615444075.0
Reportedly, the venue for the matches was decided after multiple deliberations amongst all participating and associated organisations. According to the information on AFC's Twitter account, these matches shall be conducted from April 14 to 30. As per the schedule, the group stage will witness the FC Goa engaging in a match with Persepolis FC of Iran, runners-up from the last edition of the championship.
Additionally, it will also compete against Qatar's Al Rayyan SC and a new entrant seen in the playoff matches. While games for three groups will be conducted in Saudi Arabia, India and UAE are set to play host for matches of 1 group each from the west zone.
Goa has hosted Indian Super League matches in the past
Previously, bio-secure reserves in Goa have also provided the ground for Indian Super League matches of 2020/21. It was for the first time in the 2019/20 season, that the FC teams stood a chance of getting direct entry to the Asian Championship League. Nailing the top spot, Goa won a place in ACL this year and it said that the FC team from Mumbai will be playing in ACL 2022.
In order to prepare a schedule for matches, a virtual draw was conducted for the best league teams in the continent. Being the biggest ever event of its kind in history, the AFC Champions League has marked an increase in participation from the count of 32 teams that were witnessed in the tournament last year. It is noteworthy that the top teams from all of the 10 groups of the east and west regions shall move further to the round of knockout stage.