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Qatar Stars League kicks off on September 15

Doha: Defending champions Al Duhail will kick off their campaign against newly-promoted Qatar SC in the first leg of the Qatar Stars League on September 15.

Among other match schedules announced by the Qatar Stars League Management (QSLM) on Monday, Al Gharafa will meet Al Ahli at the latter’s home ground in the tournament’s opening game.

Interestingly, for the first time, the teams have been divided into three groups based on their previous season rankings.

“The division aims at creating a balance in the teams’ matches over the course of the rounds. This will be achieved through the rotation of opponents representing the three different groups,” the QSLM said on their website.

Duhail, Sadd, Rayyan and Gharafa are in first group, the second pool has Umm Salal, Al Kharaitiyat, Al Sailiya, Al Arabi while Ahli, Khor, Markhiya and Qatar are in third group.

This season, 12 teams will participate following the decision to trim number from 14.

On the second day, newcomers Al Markhiya face Al Sadd at Al Arabi stadium while Al Khor take on former champions Al Rayyan.

The first leg will have two stoppages due to the commitments of the Qatar national team, the first of which will be for two weeks following third round while the second stoppage will be for 10 days after the seventh round.

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