Sunday , January 23 2022

Latest update on the AFC Champions League 2022!

The AFC Champions League (ACL) 2022 dates have been revised after careful consideration of the emerging complications caused by the Omicron variant of COVID-19 and the associated risks, as well as the unique circumstances surrounding the football schedule before and after the 2022 FIFA World Cup – Qatar.

Travel procedures around Asia have become more challenging with new travel restrictions and protocols being introduced by several countries in efforts to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant.

The Asian teams who are likely to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup – Qatar are expected to put in place extensive preparation plans for the competition and a need was felt to facilitate such tune-ups in the face of the uncertain situation and unforeseen risks.

Keeping in view the above, the AFC Competitions Committee has today approved a change in the dates of Asia’s premier club competition.

While the centralised format will continue to see teams from across Asia assemble in a designated host Member Association, the new dates are spread out over this year and 2023 to ensure the successful delivery of the ACL.

The revised schedule will see clubs from the West Region compete in a centralised host venue as below:

  • Group Stage: April 7-27, 2022 (double round-robin in one centralised venue).
  • Round of 16: February 3 and 4, 2023 (single knockout match in one centralised venue).
  • Quarterfinals: February 7, 2023 (single knockout match in one centralised venue).
  • Semifinal: February 10, 2023 (single knockout match in one centralised venue).

Meanwhile, teams from the East Region are scheduled to play through to the Semifinals by August 2022 in a centralised host venue as below:

  • Group Stage: April 15-May 1, 2022 (double round-robin in one centralised venue).
  • Round of 16: August 18 and 19, 2022 (single knockout match in one centralised venue).
  • Quarterfinals: August 22, 2022 (single knockout match in one centralised venue).
  • Semifinal: August 25, 2022 (single knockout match in one centralised venue).

The ACL final will be played over two legs on February 19 and 26, 2023. The first leg will be hosted in the West Region by the finalist club while the second leg will be hosted in the East by the other finalist club.

The bidding for the host Member Associations will be opened soon.

All decisions of the AFC Standing Committees need to be ratified by the AFC Executive Committee to take effect.

About Arunava Chaudhuri

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