Definitions

AFC_Champions_League

AFC Champions League

The AFC Champions League is the current annual Asian club football competition hosted by Asian Football Confederation (AFC). In normal circumstances, 28 top clubs from fourteen Asian countries along with the defending champions competed in the tournament.

Including the results from Asian Champion Club Tournament and Asian Club Championships, seven clubs have won the tournament twice; Suwon Samsung Bluewings, Pohang Steelers, Al-Hilal, Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Thai Farmers Bank FC, Esteghlal F.C. and Al Ittihad.

History

Asian Champion Club Tournament Era (1967-1972)

The competition started as the Asian Champion Club Tournament back in 1967. Eight domestic champions from eight Asian leagues competed in the inaugural season. With the exception of 1968 season, the tournament was held annually until 1971. During this first four editions, two Israeli clubs from Tel Aviv took three championships. In 1972, the tournament canceled due to a lack of interests which eventually resulted in withdrawals of most participants except for two clubs. The tournament was not held for next fourteen years. This also because professionalism in Asian club football did not start till late 90s and early 2000s.

Asian Club Championship Era (1985/86-2001/02)

Using old European Cup as a model, the tournament returned to Asia during the 1985/86 season with a new name, Asian Club Championship. Entry was restricted to the domestic champions of certain Asian leagues. Even so, few withdrawal were seen from year to year. From 1990, AFC introduced Asian Cup Winners Cup which, as the name suggest, was also restricted to domestic cup winners. The winners of these two Asian tournaments then played at the Asian Super Cup.

AFC Champions League Era (2002/03-present)

From 2002/03 season the three major Asian tournaments, Asian Champions Cup, Asian Cup Winners Cup, and Asian Super Cup was merged into one larger competition and was re-branded as AFC Champions League. In the previous years, the domestic champions and cup winners were sorted into two different continental tournaments, but now both domestic champions and cup winners enter into one competition. In the first edition, after several qualifying round, a total of sixteen clubs participated. The 2003/04 season was canceled due to SARS virus and the War in Iraq. The tournament was re-launched in 2004 season with 28 clubs from fourteen countries. In the current format, these 28 clubs are divided into 7 groups of four and plays double round-robin (home and away). The seven group winners along with defending champions qualifies to the quarter-final. Quarter-final, semi-final, and finals are two-legged series, with away goal, extra time, and penalties are used as tie-breaker.

Future Plans (2009 and beyond)

The champions league will be expanded to 32 clubs and entry will be limited to the top eleven Asian leagues. Each country will receive up to 4 slots depending on the strength of their league, league structure (professionalism), marketability, financial status and other criteria set out by the AFC Pro-League committee. New developments has suggested that the AFC Cup winner and runners-up will also to play in the qualifying rounds to determine which teams will participate in the group stage. The group round will be conducted in the same manner as the 2002/03-2008 edition; however, the only difference is that the eight group winners and eight runners-up will qualify to the round of 16.

Qualification

Current

The domestic champions of the top 14 Asian federations qualify automatically for the tournament, along with the respective cup winners of the same federations. The tournament holders receive a bye into the quarter-finals. Clubs in 2nd-tier countries enter the AFC Cup.

2009-2010

AFC Final Assessment Ranking
P Associations Pts (Total 500) Spots
Group stage Qualifying play-off AFC Cup
1 Japan 470 4 0 0
2 Korea Republic 438 4 0 0
3 China PR 415 4 0 0
4 Saudi Arabia 359 4 0 0
5 UAE 349 4 0 0
6 Iran 336 4 0 0
7 Australia 306 2 0 0
8 Indonesia 287 1 0 1
9 Singapore 237 0 1 1
10 Syria 229 0 1 1
11 Uzbekistan 229 0 1 1
12 Qatar 226 0 1 1
13 Thailand 213 0 1 1
14 Jordan 212 1 0 1
15 Vietnam 211 0 1 1
16 Kuwait 203 1 0 1
17 India 199 1 0 1
18 Malaysia 179 0 0 2
19 Hong Kong 148 0 0 2
20 Oman 140 0 0 2
21 Bahrain 139 0 0 2
East Asia
West Asia
Meet the criteria
Ensured to meet the criteria by 1 October 2008
Not ensured to meet the criteria by 1 October 2008
Do not meet the criteria
Other associations (participating in AFC President's Cup)

Format

Current

Group Stage A total of 28 clubs are divided into 7 groups of four, based on region i.e. East Asian and South-east Asian clubs are drawn in Group E to G, while the rest are grouped in Group A to D. Each group is a double round robin, for a total of 6 matches for each team. Clubs receive 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, and 0 points for a loss. The clubs are ranked according to points and tie breakers are in following order:

  • Points earned between the clubs in question
  • Goal Difference between the clubs in question
  • Goals For between the clubs in question
  • Points earned within the group
  • Goal Difference within the group
  • Goals For within the group

The seven group winners along with the defending champions qualify for the quarter-finals.Knock-out Round All 8 clubs are randomly matched; however, the only restriction is that the clubs from same country cannot face each other in the quarter-finals. The games are conducted in 2 legs -home and away- where the aggregate goals decides the match winner. If the aggregate goals cannot produce a winner the away goals rule is used. If still tied the clubs play extra time, where the away goals rule still applies. If still tied after extra time, the game goes to penalties.

2009-2010

Qualifying play-off 8 teams, 2 knock-out rounds, each 1 leg, on a regional basis, 2 winners qualify for the Group StageGroup Stage 32 teams, 8 groups of 4, home and away round robin, on a regional basis, winners and runners-up qualifiesRound of 16 Group winners vs group runners-up, 1 leg, on a regional basisQuarter-finals and semi-finals 8 teams, each 2 legs, random draws Final 1 leg on a neutral venue

Prize money

For the 2004-2008 edition the money is distributed as follows. From 2009 season, the prize money will increase significantly, as several reports indicate that the champion may receive up to $5 million.

Final position Money awarded to club
1 $600,000
2 $400,000

Note: The champion also receive at least $1 million at the FIFA Club World Cup.

Participating Associations

Associations Spots
02/03 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
East Asia
Australia 2 2 2 2
China PR 2 2 2 2 2 2 4 4
Indonesia x 2 2 2 2 x 1 1
Japan 2 2 2 2 2 3 4 4
Korea Republic 2 2 2 2 3 2 4 4
Malaysia x x x x x x x
Singapore x x x x x x
Thailand 2 2 2 x 1 2
Vietnam x 2 2 x 1 2
Total 8 12 12 8 13 13 16 16
West Asia
Bahrain x 2 x x x x
India x x x x x x 1 1
Iran 2 2 2 2 1 2 4 4
Iraq 1 2 2 2 2 2 x x
Jordan x x x x x x 1 1
Kuwait x 2 2 2 2 2 1 1
Oman x x x x x x
Qatar 1 2 2 2 2 2
Saudi Arabia 1 2 3 3 2 2 4 4
Syria x x 2 2 2 2
Turkmenistan 1 x x x x x x x
UAE 1 3 2 2 2 2 4 4
Uzbekistan 1 2 2 2 2 2
Total 8 17 17 17 15 16 16 16
Total
16 29 29 25 28 29 32 32

Asian Champions Cup & Champions League Finals

AFC Champions League
Season Winner Score Runner-up
2008
2007 Urawa Red Diamonds
3 - 1
(aggregate)
Sepahan
2006 Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
3 - 2
(aggregate)
Al Karama
2005 Al-Ittihad
5 - 3
(aggregate)
Al-Ain
2004 Al-Ittihad
6 - 3
(aggregate)
Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma
2002-03 Al-Ain
2 - 1
(aggregate)
BEC Tero Sasana

Asian Club Championship

Season Winner Score Runner-up
2001-02 Suwon Samsung Bluewings
0 - 0
(4-2 pens)
Anyang LG Cheetahs
2000-01 Suwon Samsung Bluewings
1 - 0 Júbilo Iwata
1999-2000 Al-Hilal
3 - 2 Júbilo Iwata
1998-99 Júbilo Iwata
2 - 1 Esteghlal
1997-98 Pohang Steelers
0 - 0
(6-5 pens)
Dalian Wanda
1996-97 Pohang Steelers
2 - 1 Cheonan Ilhwa Chunma
1995-96 Cheonan Ilhwa Chunma
1 - 0 Al-Nasr
1994-95 Thai Farmers Bank FC
1 - 0 Al-Arabi
1993-94 Thai Farmers Bank FC
2 - 1 Oman Club
1992-93 PAS
1 - 0 Al-Shabab
1991-92 Al-Hilal
1 - 1
(4-3 pens)
Esteghlal
1990-91 Esteghlal
2 - 1 Liaoning FC
1989-90 Liaoning FC
3 - 2
(aggregate)
Nissan FC
1988-89 Al Sadd
3 - 3
(aggregate, away goals win)
Al Rasheed
1987-88 Yomiuri
w/o - x
(Al-Hilal withdrew)
Al-Hilal
1986-87 Furukawa Electric
Group stage win Al-Hilal
1985-86 Daewoo Royals
3 - 1 Al-Ahly

Asian Champion Club Tournament

Season Winner Score Runner-up
1971 Maccabi Tel Aviv
w/o - x
(Al Shourta withdrew)
Al Shourta
1970 Taj
2 - 1 Hapoel Tel Aviv
1969 Maccabi Tel Aviv
1 - 0 Yangzee FC
1967 Hapoel Tel Aviv
2 - 1 Selangor FA

Participating Associations by Debut

Asian Club Championship (included qualifying round)

Italics are Withdraw association.

  • 1967:, , , , ,
  • 1969:, , ,
  • 1970:,
  • 1971:,
  • 1986:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
  • 1987:
  • 1988:none
  • 1989:
  • 1990:
  • 1991:none
  • 1992:none
  • 1993:
  • 1994:none
  • 1995:, , , ,
  • 1996:
  • 1997:none
  • 1998:none
  • 1999:
  • 2000:
  • 2001:none
  • 2002:none

AFC Champions League

  • 2003:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
  • 2004:
  • 2005:none
  • 2006:none
  • 2007:
  • 2008:none
  • 2009:none

No Participating Associations

AFC Champions League records and statistics

By Nation

The following table lists countries by number of winners and runner-up in AFC Champions League (Asian Club Championship also included).

South Korea is the current leader with 7 titles.

# Nation Winners Runners-up
1 7 4
2 4 5
3 4 3
4 3 3
5 3 1
6 2 1
7 1 2
8 1 1
8 1 1
10 0 2
11 0 1
11 0 1
11 0 1

By Club

The following table lists Clubs by number of winners and runner-up in AFC Champions League (Asian Club Championship also included).

Team Winners Runners-Up Years Won Years Lost
Esteghlal 2 2 (1970, 1990-91) (1991-92, 1998-99)
Al-Hilal 2 2 (1991-92, 1999-2000) (1986-87, 1987-88)
Al-Ittihad 2 0 (2004, 2005) -
Suwon Samsung Bluewings 2 0 (2000-01, 2001-02) -
Pohang Steelers 2 0 (1996-97, 1997-98) -
Thai Farmers Bank FC 2 0 (1993-94, 1994-95) -
Maccabi Tel Aviv 2 0 (1969, 1971) -
Júbilo Iwata 1 2 (1998-99) (1999-2000, 2000-01)
Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma 1 2 (1995-96) (1996-97, 2004)
Al-Ain 1 1 (2002-03) (2005)
Liaoning F.C. 1 1 (1989-90) (1990-91)
Hapoel Tel Aviv 1 1 (1967) (1970)
Urawa Red Diamonds 1 0 (2007) -
Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 1 0 (2006) -
PAS 1 0 (1992-93) -
Al Sadd 1 0 (1988-89) -
Tokyo Verdy 1 0 (1987-88) -
JEF United Chiba 1 0 (1986-87) -
Daewoo Royals 1 0 (1985-86) -
Sepahan F.C. 0 1 - (2007)
Al Karama 0 1 - (2006)
BEC Tero Sasana 0 1 - (2002-03)
Anyang LG Cheetahs 0 1 - (2001-02)
Dalian Wanda 0 1 - (1997-98)
Al-Nasr 0 1 - (1995-96)
Al-Arabi 0 1 - (1994-95)
Oman Club 0 1 - (1993-94)
Al-Shabab 0 1 - (1992-93)
Yokohama F. Marinos 0 1 - (1989-90)
Al Rasheed 0 1 - (1988-89)
Al-Ahly 0 1 - (1985-86)
Al Shourta 0 1 - (1971)
Yangzee FC 0 1 - (1969)
Selangor FA 0 1 - (1967)

By Club Statistics

Top Scorers

Year Footballer Club Goals
2002-03 Hao Haidong Dalian Shide 9
2004 Kim Do-Hoon Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma 9
2005 Mohamed Kallon Al-Ittihad 6
2006 Magno Alves Gamba Osaka 9
2007 Mota Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma 7

See also

References

External links

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