Scandal of the day. The famous club refused to go to a Champions League match in Asia because of the statue. Photo
The Asian Champions League match in Iran between Sepahan S.C. and Al-Ittihad Club has been canceled due to the Saudi champion's reluctance to play on the field near which a monument to Iranian General Soleimani is erected. Qasem Soleimani is an Iranian military leader, lieutenant general and commander of the Al-Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
It has provided military support to Hamas and Hezbollah, and assisted Bashar al-Assad's government during the Syrian civil war.
In 2011, the United States designated Mr. Soleimani as a terrorist, accusing him of plotting to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington.
Starting in 2016, clubs from both countries were banned from playing each other home and away. The matches were held on neutral territory and the October 2 meeting was to be the first game in Iran in 7 years by a club from Saudi Arabia.
Kante, Benzema and other Al-Ittihad stars left the stadium for the airport, and the club will be credited with a technical defeat of 0:3.
On social media, fans reacted negatively to the decision, noting that Al Ittihad players had felt great the day before at training next to the statue.