AFC releases slot allocation for 2016-17

December 7, 2016

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) draw will be held at 1600hrs (local time), December 13, 2016 at the Hilton Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.

AFC has finalized the slot allocations for the 2017 edition of the AFC Champions League (ACL).

Korea Republic, Japan, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Iran lead the way with three teams from each country gaining direct access to the AFC Champions League group stage, while the quintet will each have one representative in the competition’s initial play-off stage (3 group stage + 1 play-off).

Esteghlal Khuzestan and Persepolis secured their slots in the ACL as Iran Professional League champion and runner-up respectively.

Zob Ahan will take part at the group stage as Hazfi Cup champion and Esteghlal will partake at the ACL Playoff as third-placed team in domestic league.

The official draw for the AFC Champions League A club, who will be allocated a slot in any of the below stages depending on their Member Associations’ (MA) ranking, will progress from one level of the competition to the next one as follows.

Preliminary Stage 1 => Preliminary Stage 2 => Play-off Stage => Group Stage.

Losing clubs from an MA with an ACL direct slot will not participate in the AFC Cup, while losing clubs from an MA with an ACL Playoff slot will join the AFC Cup Group Stage, the-afc.com wrote.

If a club from an MA with an ACL Playoff slot qualify for the ACL Group Stage, then their allocated AFC Cup Group Stage slot will be given to the next eligible club in their MA (standby club).

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