Stage set for the first AFC Futsal Club Championship


ESFAHAN ? The draw for the inaugural edition of the AFC Futsal Club Championship, which will take place at Pirouzi Stadium from July 4 to 12, was held in Esfahan on Wednesday.

The historic draw was overseen by AFC Futsal Committee member Abbas Torabian and held before a packed auditorium at the Aseman Hotel, which included Abarghooii Nejad, the President of the Esfahan Football Federation, Mr. Mossadeghian, Vice President of the Physical Education Board and Mr. Shiran, from Esfahan Province?s Physical Education Board.
The ten participating teams were divided into two groups of five with the winners and runners-up meeting to decide which club will write their name in Asian Futsal history as the first-ever club champions.
Hosts Foolad Mahan, who will be spearheaded by Iran Futsal legend and the sport?s leading international goal scorer Vahid Shamsaee, are in Group A and can expect stiff competition from 2007 and 2008 F.League champions Nagoya Oceans, Iraq?s Nawrouz and the Central Asian duo of Uzbek outfit Stroitel Zarafshan and AUB Altyn Tas Bishkek from Kyrgyzstan.
Group B consists of Thai champions Port Authority, New South Wales Thunder, who defeated ACT Cobras 2-1 to win the 2009 Australian National Futsal Championship, Lebanon?s Pro Caf?, Chinese hopeful?s Wuhan Dilang and Al Sadd from Qatar.
The NSW Thunder side we will be extremely happy with the draw and looking to progress out of the group phase after avoiding big guns Foolad Mahan Sepahan (IRN) and Nagoya Oceans (JPN).
2009 AFC Futsal Club Championship draw:
Group A
Foolad Mahan Sepahan (IRN)
Nagoya Oceans (JPN)
Stroitel Zarafshan (UZB)
AUB Altyn Tas Bishkek (KGZ)
Nawrouz (IRQ)
Group B
Port Authority (THA)
Wuhan Dilong (CHN)
New South Wales Thunder (AUS)
Pro?s Caf? (LIB)
Al Sadd (QAT)
 2009 AFC Futsal Club Championship match schedule:
 4 July    1130   Al Sadd (QAT) v Pro?s Caf? (LIB)
              1400   Nawrouz (IRQ) v AUB Altyn Tas Bishkek (KGZ)
              1630   New South Wales Thunder (AUS) v Wuhan Dilong (CHN)
              1900   Stroitel Zarafshan (UZB) v Nagoya Oceans (JPN)
 5 July    1130   Al Sadd (QAT) v New South Wales Thunder (AUS)
              1400   Nawrouz (IRQ) v Stroitel Zarafshan (UZB)
              1630   Pro?s Caf? (LIB) v Port Authority (THA)
              1900   AUB Altyn Tas Bishkek (KGZ) v Foolad Mahan Sepahan (IRN)
 6 July    1130   Wuhan Dilong (CHN) v Pro?s Caf? (LIB)
              1400   Nagoya Oceans (JPN) v AUB Altyn Tas Bishkek (KGZ)
              1630   Port Authority (THA) v Al Sadd (QAT)
              1900   Foolad Mahan Sepahan (IRN) v Nawrouz (IRQ)
 8 July     1130   Wuhan Dilong (CHN) v Al Sadd (QAT)
              1400   Nagoya Oceans (JPN) v Nawrouz (IRQ)
              1630   New South Wales Thunder (AUS) v Port Authority (THA)
              1900   Stroitel Zarafshan (UZB) v Foolad Mahan Sepahan (IRN)
 9 July      1130  Pro?s Caf? (LIB) v New South Wales Thunder (AUS)
               1400  Port Authority (THA) v Wuhan Dilong (CHN)
               1630  AUB Altyn Tas Bishkek (KGZ) v Stroitel Zarafshan (UZB)
               1900  Foolad Mahan Sepahan (IRN) v Nagoya Oceans (JPN)
11 July   1630   Winner Group B v Runner-up Group A
               1900   Winner Group A v Runner-up Group B
12 July  1630   Third-place play-off
             1900   Final
All matches to be played at the Pirouzi Stadium, Esfahan. All kick-off times local.

source: AFC