HomeNewsEventsFootballSouth-East Asia

AFC pours cold water on AFF’s Club World Cup qualification claim

(Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

The Asian Football Confederation has said the only Asian qualifiers for the revamped Fifa Club World Cup will be via the AFC Champions League, contradicting a claim that the Asean Football Federation’s new club tournament could provide a qualifying route.

In a press release, the AFC said it welcomed the AFF’s proposal for its new competition, but there remained “outstanding issues to be clarified” before it approved the tournament.

The AFF announced yesterday it was launching the Asean Club Championship in 2020, after getting backing from the AFC and Fifa. A press release said: “The recent announcement by Fifa on the expanded Club World Cup in 2021 is a positive development for the ACC. The increase could pave the way for the possibility of the winner of the ACC to earn a place in the final rounds of the Fifa Club World Cup.”

The first edition of the expanded Fifa Club World Cup will take place in China in 2021. Asia will have three qualifying slots, up from one at present that is awarded to the winner of the AFC Champions League.

In the AFC’s press release yesterday, it said: “The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) refers to recent media reports on the Asean Club Championship and the possibility of the tournament’s winner participating in the newly expanded Fifa Club World Cup in 2021 in China PR.

“The AFC wishes to reiterate that AFC representative teams to the Fifa Club World Cup will only be through the AFC Club Competitions namely the AFC Champions League.

“The AFC confirms that it has received a proposal to organise the Asean Club Championship from the Asean Football Federation (AFF). While the AFC welcomes all efforts by the AFF to support the development of club football in the region, there are processes that need to be followed, especially in ensuring all outstanding issues are clarified before the approval.”