Football

Battle for AFC champions league and AFC cup spots gets underway

The competition for group stage slots in the AFC champions league and AFC cup gets underway on Wednesday with several teams aiming to be part of the biggest-ever editions of the tournaments.

Battle for AFC champions league and AFC cup spots gets underway
AHMED YOSRI REUTERS

Play-offs determining the occupants of the group stage spots are kicking off on Wednesday with teams eyeing an appearance in the biggest-ever editions of AFC champions league and AFC Cup tournaments following an increase in the number of participant teams in both competitions.

Qatar’s Al Gharafa and Uzbekistan’s AGMK FC are set to meet in the first play-off match Suhaim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha, Qatar, with both aspiring to be part of Asia’s 40 clubs taking part in the AFC Champions League Group Stage.

UAE Al Wahda will also host Iraq’s Al Zawraa Club at the Al Nahyan Stadium, while Saudi Arabia’s Al Wehda FC will be in action facing AFC Cup winners Air Force Club from Iraq at the King Abdulaziz Sports City in KSA. Meanwhile, Foolad Khouzestan FC from the Islamic Republic of Iran will encounter Al Ain FC from UAE on April 10 at the Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

AFC Cup preliminary stage

Following a halt that lasted for more than a year, AFC Cup its long-awaited comeback as Nepal’s Tribhuvan Army FC take on Sri Lanka’s SL Police SC in the Preliminary Stage at the Dashrath Stadium with the winners set to take on India’s JSW Bengaluru FC on April 14.

Club Eagles from the Maldives are facing off Bhutan’s Thimphu City FC at the National Stadium whereas the winners setting up a clash with Bangladesh’s Abahani Limited Dhaka.

The first of the AFC Cup play-offs will be held on 20 April between Palestine’s Al Ama’ari Center and Kuwait SC at the Faisal Al-Husseini Stadium, while AFC (west region) group stage will get underway on 14 May according to the centralization system that has been adopted by AFC since last season.