Image Credit: Hilal official website

Abu Dhabi: Five players of the Saudi Al Hilal Football Club arrived in Doha on Friday to participate in the 2020 AFC Champions League tested positive for COVID-19, the club said on its Twitter account on Saturday.

Al Hilal clarified, through its Twitter account, that the players positive tests came after conducting two PCR tests, the first was upon their arrival in Doha on Friday, and the second on Saturday.

Al Hilal, which was recently crowned in the local league championship, indicated that the players are: Salman Al Faraj, Mohammed Al Barik, Mohammed Al Waked, Saleh Al Shehri, Hamad Al Abdan, and football manager Saud Kariri."

Al Hilal was preparing to meet the Uzbek club Bakhtor in Qatar, on Monday evening, as part of the third round of the AFC Champions League group stage matches.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC), in close coordination with Qatar medical authorities, conducted COVID-19 tests on all participating teams in the AFC Champions League on their arrival in Doha, Qatar.

A player from the Qatari side, Al Duhail, has also tested positive.

The AFC had decided to organise two separate competitions in centralised locations to avert the effects of the ongoing pandemic. Accordingly, Doha and Kuala Lumpur were chosen to host the remainder of the group matches for the West and East regions, respectively.

The Saudi Arabian team's first match is slated for September 15 against Iraqi team Al Shorta at the Khalif International Stadium.

"All the appropriate medical care and support is being given to the two teams and those who tested positive are under medical supervision in a quarantined environment as required by the safety measures and COVID-19 protocols put in place for the tournament," the AFC has said.

The AFC Executive Committee has announced fresh updates to the 2020 competitions calendar after the UAE’s Al Wahda became a last-minute COVID-19 casualty from the West Zone qualifying rounds of the AFC Champions League on Thursday.

“Al Wahda have informed the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) that they are unable to travel to Qatar to compete in the AFC Champions League (West), where they currently occupy second place in Group A, after several members of the club tested positive for COVID-19,” read a statement from the Asian Football Confederation.