Asian Club Competition to be Revamped, AFC Cup Removed

Asian Club Competition

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) plans to change the competition system between the Yellow Continent clubs. Later, there will be no more AFC Cup.

This change will begin in the 2024/2025 competition. This was decided at the latest AFC Executive Committee (Exco) meeting announced on Monday (14/8).

Later, the Asian club competition will have the Asian Champions League Elite (ACLE) as the highest caste, then the Asian Champions League 2 (AFC Champions League 2, ACL2), and the AFC Challenge League (ACGL).

ACLE is followed by 24 teams. While ACL2 is followed by 32 teams. Then ACGL was followed by 20 teams.

The AFC also decided to increase the ACLE prize to US$12 million or around 100 crore Indian rupees. In the 2023/2024 Asian Champions League, the total prize pool reached US$4 million or around 25 crores.

"Both ACL2 and ACGL competitions will also have increased prizes and benefits," wrote an official AFC statement.

Not only that, the AFC also decided to hold the AFC Women's Champions League.

"Our club competitions are already among the best and most profitable in Continental football, and today the AFC begins a new and historic era with this forward-looking initiative in Asian men's and women's club football.

"The AFC has outlined its ambition to ensure our teams and players continue to shine through world-class competition and a large part of this ambition is anchored on our pledge to reinvest in our competitions, which are the lifeblood of development for all our Member Associations," said AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa in a statement.

"The AFC has always held the belief that we have an obligation to reward success and the increase in prize money and travel contributions in recent years created a lasting impact on our clubs and we are confident that the strategic reforms and new funding models will further enhance the intensity, stature and quality of the Asian club game."

"The AFC Women's Champions League is a major step in line with our strategy to provide a platform to showcase the talents of female players on the Continental stage and we are confident that the competition will empower women in Asian football, contribute to gender equality and break down social barriers, to positively impact the growth of the women's game."

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