Continental glory, Super Globe qualification up for grabs in Asia

10 Jun. 2021

Continental glory, Super Globe qualification up for grabs in Asia

The 23rd edition of the AHF Men’s Asian Club League Championship gets underway at the King Abdullah Hall in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia this weekend (12 June) under strict COVID-19 protocols, before concluding on 21 June.

Eleven teams from seven nations will participate: Al Wehda and Mudhar from Saudi Arabia, Al Kuwait and Al Salmiya from Kuwait, Qatar’s Al Arabi and Al Duhail, Iran’s Mes Kerman and Shahid Kazerun, Bahrain’s Al Najma, Uzbekistan’s AGMK and Al Qaten from Yemen.

The teams will face off in two preliminary groups in a round-robin, league basis from 12 to 17 June with a rest day on 15 June. The top two from each group will go straight into the semi-finals which take place on Saturday 19 June, along with the 5-10 placement matches and following a rest day on 18 June. Sunday 20 June is the third and final rest day ahead of the bronze and gold-medal matches on Monday 21 June.

Following the draw in May, the preliminary groups were drawn as follows:

Group A: Al Arabi (QAT), Shahid Kazerun (IRI), Al Salmiya (KUW), Mudhar (KSA), Al Najma (BRN)
Group B: Al Wehda (KSA), AGMK (UZB), Al Qaten (YEM), Mes Kerman (IRI), Al Duhail (QAT), Al Kuwait (KUW)

The winner of the championship will qualify directly for the 2021 IHF Men’s Super Globe, also set to be held in Saudi Arabia later this year.

Back-to-back Bahraini champions Al Najma, who face title-holders Al Arabi in their opening game, have signed HC Eurofarm Pelister’s right back Neven Stjepanvoic for the championship, with the Bosnian player scoring seven in the EHF European League Men this season.

Due to COVID-19, no event took place in 2020, with the 2019 event – the 22nd edition – held in November 2019 in Samcheok, Korea Republic, with Al Arabi (QAT) defeating Al Wehda (KSA) 21:19 (10:11).

The 22nd edition was the second time the club championship took place in 2019, after the 2018 (21st edition) was postponed and moved from Amman, Jordan (10 to 23 November 2018) due to “unavoidable circumstances”, before finally being played in Kuwait City, Kuwait from 20 March – 1 April 2019. That was won by Qatari side Al Duhail who avenged their disappointment of losing the final of the previous, 20th edition, in 2018

Playing Schedule
All times local

Preliminary Round

Saturday 12 June
11:00    Al Qaten vs Mes Kerman    
13:00    AGMK vs Al Duhail    
15:00    Mudhar    vs Shahid Kazerun    
17:00    Opening Ceremony
18:00    Al Wehda vs Al Kuwait    
20:00    Al Najma vs Al Arabi
Sunday 13 June
11:00    AGMK vs Al Qaten
13:00    Al Salmiya vs Shahid Kazerun
15:00    Mudhar vs Al Arabi
17:00    Al Duhail vs Al Wehda
19:00    Mes Kerman vs Al Kuwait

Monday 14 June
11:00    Shahid Kazerun vs Al Najma
13:00    Al Qaten vs Al Duhail
15:00    Mudhar vs Al Salmiya
17:00    Al Wehda vs Mes Kerman
19:00    Al Kuwait vs AGMK

Tuesday 15 June
Rest Day

Wednesday 16 June
11:00    Mes Kerman vs AGMK
13:00    Al Salmiya vs Al Arabi
15:00    Al Duhail vs Al Kuwait
17:00    Al Qaten vs Al Wehda
19:00    Al Najma vs Mudhar

Thursday 17 June
11:00    Al Arabi    vs Shahid Kazerun
13:00    Al Kuwait vs Al Qaten
15:00    Mes Kerman vs Al Duhail
17:00    Al Wehda vs AGMK
19:00    Al Najma vs Al Salmiya

Friday 18 June
Rest Day

Saturday 19 June
11:00    9/10 Placement match
13:00    7/8 Placement match
15:00    5/6 Placement match    
17:00    Semi-final 1: 1A vs 2B
19:00    Semi-final 2: 1B vs 2A

Sunday 20 June
Rest Day

Monday 21 June
TBC    Bronze 3/4 Placement match
TBC    Final / Gold 1/2 Placement match

For more information on the competition, and to follow along throughout, click here. You can also follow on the Asian Handball Federation Instagram and Twitter.

The women’s edition – the 2021 AHF Women’s Asian Club League Championship – follows less than a week later in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The fifth edition will be played from 27 June to 4 July 2021.