AFC cuts Champions League slots

The AFC has cut the number of spots available to Hyundai A-League teams for the 2013 AFC Champions League. A move that severely threatens Perth's participation.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) can confirm that the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Executive Committee (EXCO) meeting in Kuala Lumpur today allocated to Australia one (1) automatic position and one (1) qualifying position for the 2013 AFC Champions League (ACL) competition. FFA is yet to receive details of the qualification process.

The 2013 allocation compares unfavourably for Hyundai A-League clubs to previous years where there were two automatic spots, plus an additional qualifying spot in 2012.

Head of the Hyundai A-League, Damien de Bohun stated that the FFA was disappointed at the outcome and would be looking to restore the previous ACL allocation in the future.

“It-s important for us to maintain a strong presence in the ACL through the Central Coast Mariners- direct participation and the strong prospect of Brisbane Roar also qualifying.

“Our real focus and that of our Clubs this year is the Hyundai A-League, the consolidation of the 10 team competition and continuing to build on the exciting start to this season.”

The AFC Executive Committee approved slots for the 2013 edition of the AFC Champions League are as below:

EAST ZONE Japan 4 (all direct slots) Korea Republic 4 (all direct slots) China 4 (all direct slots) Uzbekistan 1 (direct slot) Australia 1+1 (direct+playoff) Thailand 1+1 (direct+playoff)

WEST ZONE Saudi Arabia 4 (all direct slots) Qatar 4 (all direct slots) Iran 3+1 (direct+playoff) UAE 2+2 (direct+playoff) Uzbekistan 1+1 (direct+playoff)