2009 AFC Champions League
18 February - 7 November 2009|
35 (from 13 associations)|
Pohang Steelers (3rd title)|
340 (3.06 per match)|
1,396,226 (12,579 per match)|
The 2009 AFC Champions League was the 28th edition of the top-level Asian club football tournament organized by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), and the 7th under the current AFC Champions League title. The final took place at National Stadium in Tokyo, Japan on 7 November. The winners, the K-League club Pohang Steelers, qualified for the 2009 FIFA Club World Cup in United Arab Emirates. The most valuable player of the 2009 AFC Champions League was Al-Ittihad's Mohammed Noor.
The champions league was expanded to 35 clubs this year, with 5 teams starting from a knockout qualifying stage. An extra stage in the knockout phase was added so that the runners up as well as the winners from the group stage would progress. The previous season winner no longer got a bye through to the knockout round. Each team was allowed to field a maximum of four foreign players this season, one of whom had to be from an AFC Member Association country. On 5 November 2008 it was announced that Qatar's leading telecom company Qtel will sponsor the AFC Champions League from 2009-2012.
A total of 35 teams participated in the 2009 AFC Champions League.
AFC assessment ranking
Allocation of entries
Below is the qualification scheme for the 2009 Champions League:
Qualifying play-off: (5 teams)
Group stage: (32 teams)
The following teams had qualified for qualifying play-off, but were removed as their leagues did not meet the Champions League criteria:
- Number of appearances (including qualifying rounds) since the 2002/03 season, when the competition was rebranded as the AFC Champions League
||Draw for qualifying play-off|
||Draw for group stage|
||Qualifying play-off semi-final |
||Qualifying play-off finals |
| 10–11 March
||Group stage Match Day 1|
| 17–18 March
||Group stage Match Day 2|
| 7–8 April
||Group stage Match Day 3|
| 21–22 April
||Group stage Match Day 4|
| 5–6 May
||Group stage Match Day 5||
| 19–20 May
||Group stage Match Day 6|
||Round of 16, West Asia|
||Round of 16, East Asia|
||Draw for remaining rounds|
| 23–24 September
||Quarter-finals 1st leg|
||Quarter-finals 2nd leg|
||Semi-finals 1st leg|
||Semi-finals 2nd leg|
||Final (National Stadium, Tokyo, Japan)|
The draw for the group stage was held on 7 January 2009 in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Each club played double round-robin (home and away) against fellow three group members, a total of 6 matches each. Each team had been numbered from 1 to 4, the numbers determine the order of the fixtures.
- Match Day 1: 1 vs 4, 3 vs 2
- Match Day 2: 2 vs 1, 4 vs 3
- Match Day 3: 1 vs 3, 4 vs 2
- Match Day 4: 3 vs 1, 2 vs 4
- Match Day 5: 4 vs 1, 2 vs 3
- Match Day 6: 1 vs 2, 3 vs 4
Clubs receive 3 points for a win, 1 point for a tie, 0 points for a loss. The clubs are ranked according to points and tie breakers are in following order:
- Greater number of points obtained in the group matches between the teams concerned;
- Goal difference resulting from the group matches between the teams concerned; (Away goals do not apply)
- Greater number of goals scored in the group matches between the teams concerned; (Away goals do not apply)
- Goal difference in all the group matches;
- Greater number of goals scored in all the group matches;
- Kicks from the penalty mark if only two teams are involved and they are both on the field of play;
- Fewer score calculated according to the number of yellow and red cards received in the group matches; (1 point for each yellow card, 3 points for each red card as a consequence of two yellow cards, 3 points for each direct red card, 4 points for each yellow card followed by a direct red card)
- Drawing of lots.
Winners and runners-up of each group qualified for the next round.
Sharjah withdrew from the competition with two games remaining. Their results were expunged.
Round of 16
The draw for the round of 16 of the 2009 AFC Champions League was held on 7 January 2009, along with the draw for the group stage. The West Asian matches were played on 26 and 27 May. The East Asian matches were played on 24 June.
The draw for the quarter-finals and the remaining knockout rounds took place at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 29 June 2009. The first leg matches were played on 23–24 September, with the second leg matches were played on 30 September.
The first leg matches were played on 21 October, with the second leg matches were played on 28 October 2009.
The 2009 AFC Champions League Final was played on 7 November at National Stadium, Tokyo, Japan.
Note: Goals scored in qualifying round not counted.
Fair Play Award