2017 AFC Champions League

2017 AFC Champions League
Tournament details
Dates 31 January – 25 November 2017
Teams 45 (from 17 associations)

The 2017 AFC Champions League will be the 36th edition of Asia's premier club football tournament organized by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), and the 15th under the current AFC Champions League title.

The winners of the 2017 AFC Champions League will qualify as the AFC representative at the 2017 FIFA Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. If a team from the United Arab Emirates wins the AFC Champions League, the runners-up will also qualify (in place of the winners of the 2016–17 UAE Pro-League). Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors are the defending champions.

Association team allocation

The AFC Competitions Committee proposed a revamp of the AFC club competitions on 25 January 2014,[1] which was ratified by the AFC Executive Committee on 16 April 2014.[2] The 46 AFC member associations (excluding the associate member Northern Mariana Islands) are ranked based on their national team's and clubs' performance over the last four years in AFC competitions, with the allocation of slots for the 2017 and 2018 editions of the AFC club competitions determined by the 2016 rankings:[3]

The final association ranking used to determine the slot allocation was published on 27 November 2016, after the completion of the 2016 AFC Champions League and 2016 AFC Cup.[4]

Participation for 2017 AFC Champions League[5]
Fulfills participation criteria
Does not fulfill participation criteria

West Zone
Rank Member
Points[4] Slots
Zone All Play-off
1 2United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates 87.555
2 3Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia 84.698
3 4Iran Iran 78.908
4 5Qatar Qatar 78.171
5 9Uzbekistan Uzbekistan 56.876
610Iraq Iraq 37.240000
711Kuwait Kuwait[Note KUW] 36.457000
813Syria Syria 34.257000
915Jordan Jordan 31.213
1019Bahrain Bahrain 27.353
1120Lebanon Lebanon 22.077000
1222Oman Oman 19.313000

East Zone
Rank Member
Points[4] Slots
Zone All Play-off
1 1South Korea South Korea 96.311
2 6Japan Japan 75.807
3 7China China 72.719
4 8Australia Australia 72.599
512Thailand Thailand 34.753
614Hong Kong Hong Kong 31.797
716Vietnam Vietnam 29.273
817Malaysia Malaysia 28.865
918India India 27.930
1021Indonesia Indonesia 20.372000
1124Myanmar Myanmar 17.220
1225Philippines Philippines 17.188000

  1. ^ Kuwait (KUW): The Kuwait Football Association is currently suspended by FIFA (as of November 2016).[6]


In the following table, the number of appearances and last appearance count only those since the 2002–03 season (including qualifying rounds), when the competition was rebranded as the AFC Champions League.

West Zone
Team Qualifying method App Last App
Group stage direct entrants (Groups A–D)
United Arab Emirates Al-Ahli 2015–16 UAE Pro-League champions 7th 2015
United Arab Emirates Al-Jazira 2015–16 UAE President's Cup winners 9th 2016
United Arab Emirates Al-Ain 2015–16 UAE Pro-League runners-up 12th 2016
Saudi Arabia Al-Ahli 2015–16 Saudi Professional League champions
2016 King Cup winners
9th 2016
Saudi Arabia Al-Hilal 2015–16 Saudi Professional League runners-up 13th 2016
Saudi Arabia Al-Taawoun 2015–16 Saudi Professional League 4th place[Note KSA] 1st none
Iran Esteghlal Khuzestan 2015–16 Persian Gulf Pro League champions 1st none
Iran Zob Ahan 2015–16 Hazfi Cup winners 6th 2016
Iran Persepolis 2015–16 Persian Gulf Pro League runners-up 6th 2015
Qatar Al-Rayyan 2015–16 Qatar Stars League champions 7th 2014
Qatar Lekhwiya 2016 Emir of Qatar Cup winners 6th 2016
Uzbekistan Lokomotiv Tashkent 2016 Uzbek League champions
2016 Uzbekistan Cup winners
5th 2016
Qualifying play-off participants
Entering in play-off round
United Arab Emirates Al-Wahda 2015–16 UAE Pro-League 3rd place 8th 2015
Saudi Arabia Al-Fateh 2015–16 Saudi Professional League 5th place[Note KSA] 2nd 2014
Iran Esteghlal 2015–16 Persian Gulf Pro League 3rd place 8th 2014
Qatar El Jaish 2015–16 Qatar Stars League runners-up 5th 2016
Qatar Al-Sadd 2015–16 Qatar Stars League 3rd place 12th 2016
Uzbekistan Bunyodkor 2016 Uzbek League runners-up 10th 2016
Uzbekistan Nasaf Qarshi 2016 Uzbek League 3rd place 5th 2016
Entering in preliminary round
Jordan Al-Wehdat 2015–16 Jordan League champions 4th 2016
Bahrain Al-Hidd 2015–16 Bahrain First Division League champions 2nd 2014

East Zone
Team Qualifying method App Last App
Group stage direct entrants (Groups E–H)
South Korea FC Seoul 2016 K League Classic champions 7th 2016
South Korea Suwon Samsung Bluewings 2016 Korean FA Cup winners 8th 2016
South Korea Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 2016 K League Classic runners-up 11th 2016
Japan Kashima Antlers 2016 J1 League champions
(possible 2016 Emperor's Cup winners)
7th 2015
Japan TBD
or Kawasaki Frontale
or Urawa Red Diamonds
2016 Emperor's Cup winners
or 2016 J1 League runners-up
Japan Urawa Red Diamonds
or Kawasaki Frontale
2016 J1 League runners-up or 3rd place 6th/
China Guangzhou Evergrande 2016 Chinese Super League champions
2016 Chinese FA Cup winners
6th 2016
China Jiangsu Suning 2016 Chinese Super League runners-up 3rd 2016
Australia Adelaide United 2015–16 A-League premiers
2016 A-League Grand Final winners
6th 2016
Australia Western Sydney Wanderers 2015–16 A-League regular season runners-up 3rd 2015
Thailand Muangthong United 2016 Thai Premier League champions[Note THA] 6th 2016
Hong Kong Eastern 2015–16 Hong Kong Premier League champions[Note HKG] 1st none
Qualifying play-off participants
Entering in play-off round
South Korea Jeju United 2016 K League Classic 3rd place 2nd 2011
Japan Kawasaki Frontale
or TBD
2016 J1 League 3rd place or 4th place 5th/
China Shanghai SIPG 2016 Chinese Super League 3rd place 2nd 2016
China Shanghai Shenhua 2016 Chinese Super League 4th place 7th 2011
Entering in preliminary round
Australia Brisbane Roar 2015–16 A-League regular season 3rd place 4th 2015
Thailand Sukhothai 2016 Thai FA Cup winners[Note THA] 1st none
Thailand Bangkok United 2016 Thai Premier League runners-up[Note THA] 2nd 2007
Hong Kong Kitchee 2015–16 Hong Kong Season Play-off winners[Note HKG] 3rd 2016
Vietnam Hà Nội T&T 2016 V.League 1 champions 4th 2016
Malaysia Johor Darul Ta'zim 2016 Malaysia Super League champions 3rd 2016
India Bengaluru FC 2015–16 I-League champions 2nd 2015
Myanmar Yadanarbon 2016 Myanmar National League champions 2nd 2015

  1. ^ Hong Kong (HKG): Eastern, the 2015–16 Hong Kong Premier League champions, initially gave up their place in the AFC Champions League due to financial problems. As a result, the Hong Kong Football Association decided that Kitchee, the 2015–16 Hong Kong Season Play-off winners, would enter the group stage instead of the qualifying play-off, while Southern District, the play-off runners-up, would enter the qualifying play-off.[7] However, the AFC did not allow Kitchee to replace Eastern in the AFC Champions League group stage, and Kitchee will still enter the qualifying play-off, while Southern District will not be able to participate in the AFC Champions League.[8][9] On 21 November 2016, the Hong Kong Football Association announced they had reversed their decision and would put forward Eastern and Kitchee as their representatives.[10]
  2. ^ Saudi Arabia (KSA): Al-Ittihad, the 2015–16 Saudi Professional League 3rd place, will not participate in the AFC Champions League due to club licensing requirements problems. As a result, Al-Taawoun, the league 4th place, will enter the group stage instead of the qualifying play-off, while Al-Fateh, the league 5th place, will enter the qualifying play-off.[11]
  3. ^ Thailand (THA): Due to the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the Football Association of Thailand cancelled the remainder of the 2016 Thai football season on 14 October 2016.[12] The standings at the point of cancellation were declared as final, meaning Muangthong United and Bangkok United finished as the 2016 Thai Premier League champions and runners-up respectively. A draw was held among the four semi-finalists to decide the 2016 Thai FA Cup winners,[13] and was won by Sukhothai.[14]


The schedule of the competition is as follows (all draws are held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia).[15] Starting from 2017, matches in the West Zone will be played on Mondays and Tuesdays instead of Tuesdays and Wednesdays.[16]

Stage Round Draw date First leg Second leg
Preliminary stage
Preliminary round No draw 31 January 2017
Play-off stage Play-off round 7 February 2017
Group stage Matchday 1 12 December 2016 20–22 February 2017
Matchday 2 27 February – 1 March 2017
Matchday 3 13–15 March 2017
Matchday 4 10–12 April 2017
Matchday 5 24–26 April 2017
Matchday 6 8–10 May 2017
Knockout stage Round of 16 22–24 May 2017 29–31 May 2017
Quarter-finals TBA 21–23 August 2017 11–13 September 2017
Semi-finals 25–27 September 2017 16–18 October 2017
Final 18 November 2017 25 November 2017

Qualifying play-off

Group stage

Knockout stage


See also


  1. "Revamp of AFC competitions". AFC. 25 January 2014.
  2. "ExCo approves expanded AFC Asian Cup finals". AFC. 16 April 2014.
  3. "Entry Manual: AFC Club Competitions 2017-2020" (PDF). AFC.
  4. 1 2 3 "AFC MEMBER ASSOCIATIONS RANKING (as of 27 November 2016)". AFC.
  5. "MA's Licensed Club 2017" (PDF). AFC.
  6. "FIFA Congress drives football forward, first female secretary general appointed". FIFA. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  7. "Money talks: Hong Kong Premier League champions Eastern give up historic AFC Champions League place after losing financial backing". South China Morning Post. 18 July 2016.
  8. "Hong Kong's Champions League debut in doubt with AFC set to block Kitchee's bid to replace Premier League winners Eastern". South China Morning Post. 17 November 2016.
  9. "Eastern 'ready to return' to AFC Champions League as Kitchee attack Hong Kong FA chief for 'blunder' in eligibility fiasco". South China Morning Post. 18 November 2015.
  10. "Chan Yuen-ting poised to become first female head coach in the AFC Champions League after Eastern are reinstated". South China Morning Post. 21 November 2016.
  11. "التعاون إلى دوري آسيا مباشرة والفتح يخوض الملحق". alriyadh.com (in Arabic). Al Riyadh. 23 October 2016. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  12. "ประกาศ : เรื่องยุติการแข่งขันกีฬาฟุตบอล ฟุตซอล ฟุตบอลชายหาด ประจำฤดูกาล ๒๕๕๙". October 14, 2016.
  13. "Kirins bag title as league ties are cancelled". Bangkok Post. 15 October 2016.
  14. "OFFICIAL : สุโขทัยจับสลากได้สิทธิ์ลุย ACL 2017". GOAL.com. 20 October 2016.
  15. "AFC Calendar of Competitions 2017" (PDF). AFC.
  16. "AFC Competitions Committee decisions". AFC. 12 April 2016.

External links

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