Asian Champions League
ASIAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE – the most prestigious international tournament in Asia, where the best teams of the previous season and the winner of last year’s tournament enter.
1. Tournament participants. Participants in the Asian Champions League and the initial stage for each of them are determined according to the ranking of Asian countries in world cups.
The higher the federation in the ranking, the more places in the Asian Champions League it receives, and the more its representatives start from the later stages.
The current winner of last season’s Asian Champions League receives an additional place in the current season’s Asian Champions League and starts playing there immediately from the group stage. This happens regardless of the place taken by the club in the domestic championship.
The current winner of last season’s Asian Confederation Cup receives an additional spot in the current season’s Asian Champions League and starts playing there immediately from the group stage. This happens regardless of the place taken by the club in the domestic championship.
All other participants in the Asian Champions League move along the tournament grid along one of two paths – the path of the champions or the path of the representatives of the leagues.
The path of champions includes one team from each federation of the continent – this team can be the champion of the country or the first of the following teams that did not qualify for the Asian Champions League as the winner of one of the continental world cups last season.
The teams that took the highest places in the standings of the national championship of the last season, which did not qualify for the Asian Champions League in any other capacity, get into the path of the representatives of the leagues.
2. Regulations of the tournament. The draw of the tournament is carried out immediately from the very first round to the final. This allows you to know which team (the winner of which pair) you fall into if you advance to the next round.
There are four qualifying rounds in the Asian Champions League, which are played in the form of two-round confrontations (teams play two matches: home and away). The winners advance to the next round, the losers are relegated to the Asian Confederation Cup. The winners of the last qualifying round (called the “play-off round”) qualify for the Asian Champions League group stage.
At the draw of each qualifying round, the teams are divided into two pots according to the ranking of Asian clubs in the world cups: teams with higher ratings get opponents with lower ratings. The draw for all qualifying rounds is held at the same time. During the draw for the second and subsequent qualifying rounds, the highest rated team from that pair is taken as the winner’s rating of the pair.
In the qualifying rounds, the draw cannot bring together teams from the same federation.