Al Sadd football team players, winners of the AFC Champions League title, wave to fans on the Corniche yesterday. SALIM MATRAMKOT
Doha: A host of sports officials and a large number of fans turned up to give a heroes’ welcome to the players of Al Sadd football club — winners of the AFC Champions League — on their arrival here yesterday.
Al Sadd squad arrived yesterday from South Korea after winning the Asian title defeating Jeonbuk Hyundai in a 4-2 penalty shoot-out.
The Qatari side triumphed after a nail-biting 2-2 stalemate forced extra-time and then penalties, which saw Al Sadd claim a continental trophy for the first time since 1989. The 12-time Qatari champions won the Champions League’s pre-cursor, the Asian Club Championship, in 1989.
H H Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Personal Representative of the Emir led wishers to greet Al Sadd team on arrival at Doha International Airport.
Al Sadd football team members on their arrival were also greeted by a large number of prominent sports administrators notable among them were H E Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani, Advisor of the Emir and President of Al Sadd Club.
Others present at the Doha International Airport to receive the team were Secretary General of Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) Sheikh Soud bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani and Qatar Football Association (QFA) President Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmad Al Thani.
QFA president Sheikh Hamad said the Saturday’s win in Korea has given a chance to club two celebrations into one.
“Today we are celebrating and also welcoming our heroes. We hope that this historic victory marks the beginning and will lead to other achievements for Qatari football in the future,” said the QFA president while welcoming the victorious team.
“We at QFA will extend our full support to Al Sadd as they prepare for the World Club Cup which starts on December 8 in Tokyo,” he added.
The World Club Cup will see clubs from every continent compete over 10 days in Japan. The field is led by Barcelona and Santos, with Al Sadd joining the winners of the J-League and Mexico’s Monterrey.
Sheikh Soud, QOC Secretary General said the team showed a killer instinct which made a difference between the two teams on Saturday in Korea.
“The victory will have a positive effect on Qatari football and sport in general. The fighting spirit was reflected in the win which came in front of over 41,000 spectators against the Korean giants,” he said.
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