CHAMPIONS Lekhwiya have been drawn into Group B along with Bahrain’s Al Ahli, Saudi Arabia’s Al Noor and Oman’s Sidab for the 19th Asian Clubs Handball League beginning in Amman, Jordan, on Saturday.
Qatar’s other representative, league champions El Jaish, are in Group A that also comprises host nation’s Al Ahli, Iran’s Oil & Gas Club and the UAE’s Al Jazeera.
The competition, which will conclude on November 5, serves as a qualifying tournament for next year’s International Handball Federation’s Super Globe.
Qatari clubs have dominated the Asian competition, winning nine of the 18 editions held so far.
Al Sadd are the most successful club in the championship’s history, having triumphed a record five times in a row from 2000.
Jaish are two-time champions (2013 and 2014) while Lekhwiya (2016) and Al Rayyan (2012) have won once each.
Lekhwiya won the last edition held in Doha in March in a six-team round-robin format. The tournament has now reverted to group-cum-knockout format.
Lekhwiya will be keen to defend their title, but their biggest challenge will come from Jaish.