The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is going to change its club competitions next year. The prize money will go up, and Bangladesh will only have one secondary spot in the regional club tournaments.
At the moment, AFC runs two tournaments: the AFC Champions League and the AFC Cup. The winners of the Bangladesh Premier League go straight to the group stage of the AFC Cup, while the winners of the Federation Cup have to go through the opening round and play-off stage to get to the group stage.
But the AFC accepted a three-tier international club competition yesterday. The top 24 clubs will play in the AFC Champions League Elite, the next 36 clubs will play in the AFC Champions League 2, and the last 20 clubs will play in the AFC Challenge League.
The next season, 2024, will have three different forms, so Bangladesh could only get one spot in the third-tier AFC Challenge League.
“Because of where we place, we don’t get to play in the AFC Champions League Elite or the AFC Champions League 2. Bangladesh will get a secondary spot in the AFC Challenge League 2024 based on how well they did in the AFC Cup from 2014 to 2022, BFF acting general secretary Emran Hossain told The Daily Star yesterday.
Emran said, “Just like Abahani has to play in the preliminary round and play-off to get into the group stage of the AFC Cup, the Bangladeshi club will now have to play in the preliminary round and play-off to get into the group stage of the AFC Challenge League 2024.”
The AFC also said that they will start an Asian Women’s Champions League, and the winners of the AFC Champions League Elite will get US$12 million.