Kuala Lumpur - China's Guangzhou Evergrande will kick off
their defence of the Champions League title in an empty stadium after being
punished Wednesday by the Asian football governing body for breaching league
The breaches included filming an Al Ahli (UAE) closed
training session, conducting an unauthorised post-match ceremony and infringing
on the commercial rights of Asian Football Confederation sponsors, the AFC said
in a statement.
The governing body said further violations relate to safety
and security failures during the second leg of the 2015 final, which it hosted
on November 21 against Al Ahli.
Also read: Scolari backs Evergrande against Barca’s ’25 Neymars’
"The AFC disciplinary committee has fined Guangzhou
Evergrande a total of $160,000 and ordered the club to play its first match in
the 2016 season behind closed doors," the football body said.
The game in question is Guangzhou Evergrande's Group Stage
match on February 24 against the winner of East Zone play-off 1.
The Chinese Football Association was also fined $10,000.
Guangzhou are China's most successful club, having won the
Chinese Super League the last five years in a row. They also claimed the Asian
Champions League twice in the same period.
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