Saudi clubs handed lucrative incentive

SINGAPORE - Saudi Arabian football chiefs will dole out a $1 million bonus if any of their clubs win the Asian Champions League this year.

Al Ittihad, the 2004 and 2005 Asian champions and losing finalists last year, Saudi champions Al Hilal, Al Shabab and Al Ahli will all be vying for the prize in the continent's top club competition.

The announcement was made by Saudi Arabia Football Federation (SAFF) vice president Prince Nawaf Bin Faisal, the Asian Football Confederation reported on its website.

SAFF would also offer $35,000 to the top scorer in the Saudi league and $135,000 to the team with the best disciplinary record, the report said.

The group stage of this year's Asian Champions League gets underway on February 23.