Kuala Lumpur: After months of domestic polls and four regional finals, the field is set for the final stage of our search for Asia’s most popular football club.
Covering almost every corner of the world’s largest Confederation, our final eight contenders have proven to be among the most beloved football clubs anywhere in the continent, now it’s your chance to secure one of them the title of Asia’s most popular.
For the final time in our search, check out the nominees and don’t forget to cast your vote.
Al Ittihad (runners-up, West Asia)
The most popular club in our Syria poll, Aleppo’s Al Ittihad finished second in our search for West Asia’s most popular club, edging out the mighty Al Hilal SFC of Saudi Arabia with 23.87 percent of the total votes.
AFC Cup winners back in 2010, Al Ittihad will celebrate their 72nd anniversary next month. Will they do so as Asia’s most popular football club?
Al Wehdat (winners, West Asia)
The winners of our West Asian regional poll, Jordan’s Al Wehdat secured an impressive 32.71 percent of the votes to edge out a field of 16 proud clubs.
The Amman-based club are 16-time champions of Jordan and are on track for a 17th league title at the time of writing. Can they add the title of Asia’s most popular club to their list of honours?
Johor Darul Ta’zim (runners-up, ASEAN)
Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Malaysia’s power club both on and off the pitch, JDT were narrowly beaten by Indonesia’s Persija Jakarta in our search for ASEAN’s most popular club, earning an impressive 28.84 percent of votes.
Already the 2015 AFC Cup winners, the club’s sizeable fanbase now has the chance to add a unique second continental honour.
Persepolis FC (runners-up, Central and South Asia)
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Successful on and off the pitch, Persepolis have won the past four Iran Pro League titles and appeared in two of the last three AFC Champions League deciders, losing 2-1 to Ulsan Hyundai in the 2020 final last Saturday.
Illustrating their massive drawing power, the Tehran giants achieved over 30 percent of the votes in the combined Central and South Asian final, second only to fellow Iranian club FC Tractor.
Persija Jakarta (winners, ASEAN)
According to our regional final, Persija Jakarta are the most popular club in the tremendously competitive ASEAN region, earning 32.49 percent of the votes in a field including nine passionately supported regional rivals.
Known as “The Jakmania”, Persija’s fans support their club in massive numbers, regularly filling the stands and creating an unforgettable atmosphere at the famous Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.
Shanghai Shenhua (winners, East Asia)
Shanghai, China PR
Another back-to-back winner, Shanghai Shenhua won our bid to determine China PR’s most popular club back in July, then repeated the dose at the East Asian level in December.
With a history spanning nearly 70 years, Shenhua are a long-established ornament of the top level of Chinese football, and they finish 2020 having just narrowly missed out on their first AFC Champions League knockout stage appearance in a decade and a half.
Suwon Samsung Bluewings (runners-up, East Asia)
Suwon, Korea Republic
Twice Asian champions on the pitch in the early 2000s, Suwon Samsung Bluewings may yet prove to be one of Asia’s biggest clubs off it, after they qualified for the final poll as East Asian runners-up.
Suwon were Korea Republic’s third most popular club in our initial poll in July, but they surged into the final with almost 20 percent of the votes in our East Asian final.
Tractor SC (winners, Central and South Asia)
Tabriz, Islamic Republic of Iran
The most popular club in our IR Iran poll, as well as our Central and South Asian regional poll, Tabriz-based Tractor are clearly one of the best-supported clubs anywhere in Asia.
Their 59.43 percent of total votes in the Central and South Asian regional final was the largest proportion of votes received by any club at the regional stage of our search, making them a major contender to win the continental title.
*Poll ends at 17:00 (UTC+8) on January 1.