The Asian Football Confederation, the governing body of association football in Asia and Oceania, is set to revamp Asian Champions League competition, with fewer teams and an increased prize fund.
The changes will take place in 2024. The Asian Football Confederation will also launch an Asian Women’s Champions League.
Reportedly, the main 24 club sides from across the continent will play in the new format in September 2024. The winning team can now earn US$12 million in the new AFC Champions League Elite. The runner-up will get US$ 4 million.
The AFC Champions League Elite will consist of a new three-tier set-up, with a total of 76 teams from across Asia. The top tier is called AFC Champions League Elite (ACLE), the second tier is called AFC Champions League 2 (ACL2) and the third tier is called AFC Challenge League (ACGL).
According to the regional football body, around 32 teams will take part in the AFC Champions League 2, while 20 clubs will participate in the AFC Challenge League. The remaining 24 teams will take part in ACLE.
Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa, the president of the Asian Football Confederation, “Today the AFC is embarking on a new and historic era with these forward-looking initiatives in both men’s and women’s Asian club football.” Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa lauded the teams and players.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Executive Committee held a meeting on Monday to discuss the latest changes. The meeting was chaired by Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa.
The regional body introduced a Women’s Champions League, which will replace the AFC Women’s Club Championship. The Asian governing body said in a statement, “The AFC Women’s Champions League will feature top-notch action.”
The playoff rounds of the 2023-24 AFC Champions League will start on 15 August.