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New FIFPRO Asia/Oceania report encourages collaboration between the AFC, clubs and players to unlock value in Asian Champions League

New FIFPRO Asia/Oceania report encourages collaboration between the AFC, clubs and players to unlock value in Asian Champions League
  • The report has been produced in collaboration with leading sporting intelligence agency Twenty First Group (TFG) and represents the most comprehensive public analysis of the AFC Champions League
  • The analysis, which contains extensive data and feedback from players and clubs, weighs the costs and benefits for clubs and players participating in the AFC-organised competition
  • With a new competition format introduced from next season, the AFC Champions League Elite, the report suggests a new partnership between the players, clubs and Asia’s football governing body will deliver a sustainable model for all stakeholders

A new report from FIFPRO Asia/Oceania analysing the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) flagship club competition, the AFC Champions League (ACL), has delivered extensive insights into the experiences for players and clubs participating in the competition.

The report, undertaken in collaboration with leading sporting intelligence agency Twenty First Group (TFG), provides an evidence-based assessment of the ACL’s performance and examines the likely impact of reforms announced by the AFC for the 2024/25 season onwards.

Combining expert analysis, independent insights and direct feedback from players and participating clubs, the comprehensive report illustrates that much of the competition’s costs and burdens fall on clubs.

Extensive travel across a vast continent and mid-week matches contribute to players' already-rising workload, which in turn is impacting clubs’ domestic form, the report reveals. The financial subsidies provided to clubs by the AFC do not cover the costs clubs incur, particularly for long-haul away trips.

The report demonstrates the geographic, sporting, economic and workload challenges of the competition for players and clubs, and recommends the AFC establishes a genuine partnership that delivers a more sustainable model that rewards all stakeholders.

This report analyses the merits and drawbacks of the current AFC Champions League based on various data and the results indicate that the merits do not outweigh the drawbacks for most players and clubs, making it an unsustainable system,” said FIFPRO Asia/Oceania Chairperson Takuya Yamazaki.

However, this does not mean that the future of football in Asia is bleak. On the contrary, we believe that this economically significant region can lead a discussion for truly sustainable competition formats.”

Jerome Perlemuter, General Secretary of World Leagues Forum, which represents professional football leagues on a global level, said collaboration between all stakeholders in the Asian region would help shape and deliver sustainable competitions.

"FIFPRO’s contribution to shaping the future of Asian continental competitions is most welcome," Perlemuter said. "Sustainable football development requires confederations, leagues and players to work together with a common objective to shape high potential continental competitions in a consistent global calendar. In this context, it is important to consider economic, geographical and cultural specificities. We look forward to continuing these discussions with FIFPRO and all stakeholders."

The AFC has announced significant reforms to the competition, which will be relaunched as the AFC Champions League Elite from the 2024/25 season. This includes major changes to the number of teams, the structure of play and the hosting arrangements for the final rounds.

The AFC Champions League Elite kicks off with the preliminary rounds in July 2024, while the league stage gets under way in September. The AFC has announced increased prize money for the two finalists and tweaks to other regulations, though full details have not yet been released.

To download the report, see here.

AFC condemns unprovoked attack on Al Husseini Stadium by Israeli forces

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Kuala Lumpur: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) strongly condemns the unprovoked and horrific attack launched by Israeli forces on players and spectators during the Abu Ammar Cup Final match between Balata FC and Jabal Al Mukabber at the Faisal Al Husseini International Stadium in al-Ram on Thursday night.
Tear gas and rubber encased bullets were used by the Israeli forces during the assault, which led to the match being halted as several Palestinian players and fans, including children and women, suffered from breathlessness due to tear gas inhalation and had to be treated with both pitchside and in hospital.
The AFC calls for an immediate end to all acts of violence by the Israeli forces against the Palestinian people and stands in firm solidarity with the Palestine Football Association and the Palestinian football community.

AFC signs media rights deal with Sky Network Television Limited

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Kuala Lumpur: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has today announced Sky Network Television Limited (Sky) as their new media partner in New Zealand. The two-year deal from 2021 to 2022 includes the AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar™, the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022™, as well as the AFC Champions League™ featuring Asia’s top forty clubs.

AFC announces media rights deal with ELEVEN

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Kuala Lumpur: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has today announced ELEVEN as their new media partner in Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Philippines.

AFC Cup 2021 ASEAN Zone matches cancelled

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Kuala Lumpur: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has today confirmed that all matches of the AFC Cup 2021 ASEAN Zone, comprising Groups G, H and I as well as the Playoff Stage have been cancelled due to the challenges imposed by the global pandemic in finding a suitable host to stage the centralised matches.

AFC President discusses plans to raise Asian football with ANFA President

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Manama: Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa met with the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) President Karma Tsering Sherpa, with the AFC General Secretary Dato’ Windsor John also in attendance.
Shaikh Salman welcomed the ANFA President to Bahrain and emphasised the importance of continuous engagement with the Asian football family and discussed the possible ways to further develop the game, as well as to strengthen the spirit of collaboration between the AFC and its Member Associations (MAs). 

Latest update on AFC Cup Group I

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Kuala Lumpur: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Competitions Committee has today decided on the vacant spot of the 2021 AFC Cup after Kaya FC-Iloilo from the Philippines secured their debut qualification for the AFC Champions League (East) Group Stage.

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