2017 AFC Champions League

Discussion in 'AFC: Tournaments' started by Angsa, Nov 17, 2016.

  1. Angsa

    Angsa Member

    Aug 26, 2008
    Hong Kong
    Club:
    Everton FC
    Country:
    Argentina
    HKFA has made a massive cock up and Kitchee will not be able to play in the 2017 AFC Champions League group stage, because they are not the current league champions.

    AFC informed HKFA that HK will get 1 automatic ACL group place and 1 ACL qualifying place. Then HKFA learned also that Kitchee cannot take the automatic place because they are not the current league champions. HKFA knew about this in mid-October but they did not tell anybody until earlier this week. League champions Eastern Longlions gave up its ACL participation becasue it ran into financial trouble in the summer, thus HKFA nominated AFC Cup play off winner Kitchee and runner's up Kwun Chung Southern District to play in the ACL qualifying. (Now Eastern Longlions are back in financial health.)

    Kitchee has planned to host the 2017 Lunar New Year Cup at the end of January, it is believed they already signed contracts with foreign clubs and sponsors. Now they have to play in the ACL qualifying on 31 Jan, they cannot host the Lunar New Year Cup anymore. That means they will have to pay for contract damages.

    Kitchee are hugely upset with HKFA. They will host a press conference today to damnify the guilty party.

    Kwun Chung Southern District are altogether out of Asian competitions, their management and sponsors are hugely upset, as they have increased their investment in the club for this purpose.

    I feel both clubs might take legal action against HKFA.
     
  2. Angsa

    Angsa Member

    Aug 26, 2008
    Hong Kong
    Club:
    Everton FC
    Country:
    Argentina
    South China Morning Post

    Hong Kong’s Champions League debut in doubt with AFC set to block Kitchee’s bid to replace Premier League winners Eastern

    Football Association have entered last season’s runners-up as well as Southern in the continental club competition for 2017, but the move is set to fall foul of tournament rules regarding eligible teams

    Andrew Mullen

    Hong Kong is in danger of losing a coveted spot in next year’s AFC Champions League group stage after the Asian Football Confederation confirmed league runners-up Kitchee will not be allowed to replace Premier League champions Eastern in the 2017 competition.

    Eastern revealed in July they would be giving up the chance to become Hong Kong’s first-ever direct qualifier for the continental club competition after losing key financial support having claimed the top-flight title last season.

    The Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) have since entered the names of Kitchee and also end of season play-off runners-up Southern, who would enter in the continental play-off stage, but that move is set to fall foul of Asian Football Confederation (AFC) competition rules.

    “We can confirm that if Eastern decide not to participate in the competition the HKFA will lose the direct slot in the group stage,” an AFC spokesperson told the Post.

    Clubs from the city have regularly featured in the second-tier AFC Cup with South China reaching this year’s quarter-finals, while Kitchee were eliminated in the AFC Champions League play-offs.

    Hong Kong’s ranking within the AFC has now risen to 14, meaning they are now eligible for one direct group stage berth as well as a place in the play-offs as the sixth best rated nation in the East region.

    But according to AFC competition rules, the “sporting criteria” which determines eligible teams lists “winner of the national top division league” as the first factor to consider.

    Should Hong Kong have their place withdrawn, it is believed seventh ranked Australia will benefit by seeing their automatic group stage places increase to three.

    South Korea and Japan are currently allocated three automatic spots in the group stage of the 16-team East region plus one play-off berth.

    HKFA chief executive Mark Sutcliffe is set to meet with AFC officials during a Champions League workshop in South Korea this weekend on the sidelines of the first leg of this year’s final between FC Seoul and Al Ain of the United Arab Emirates.

    “The HKFA Board resolved to apply on behalf of Kitchee and Southern,” said Sutcliffe. “Obviously it would be disappointing.

    “I am going to an AFC Champions League workshop in Korea this weekend to coincide with the first leg of the final, so maybe they will tell me then, but as of now I have had no confirmation so can’t really comment.”

    Eastern manager Peter Leung Shou-chi confirmed in July that last season’s Premier League and Senior Shield winner “had to give up our Champions League slot” after president Lai Tung-kwong decided to depart having invested over HK$20 million into the club a year for the past three years.

    At the time Sutcliffe said that “I doubt there will be a penalty from the AFC because we haven’t made the application yet. I think we have a very good replacement in Kitchee. Subject to the AFC, Kitchee will play in the Champions League next season.”
     
  3. Angsa

    Angsa Member

    Aug 26, 2008
    Hong Kong
    Club:
    Everton FC
    Country:
    Argentina
    Kitchee's Ken Ng called a press conference today and he said HKFA made the mistake of applying for ACL license for all 3 clubs, Eastern Longlions, Kitchee and Southern District, leading AFC to believe that champion Eastern Longlions will play in ACL. But Eastern Longlions only applied for the 2018 license because of sponsorship demands. (It had announced that it would not play in ACL in the summer when the club was in financial trouble.)

    When AFC told HKFA it had concerns about Eastern Longlions not playing, HKFA did not change anything or talked to the clubs but still submitted Kitchee and Southern District as its representatives. So now it looks like HK will lose its ACL group stage spot and one ACL qualifying spot due to stupidity. In addition, Kitchee cannot host the Lunar New Year Cup, there will be damages to be paid and a new host needs to be found.

    Ken Ng said Mark Sutcliffe is at fault because he was the one who insisted on Eastern Longlions getting the ACL club license. I also feel a head or heads in HKFA will roll for this.
     
    Matilda Maniac repped this.
  4. Edgar

    Edgar Member

    That direct slot will go to China.
     
  5. dinamo_zagreb

    dinamo_zagreb Member+

    Jun 27, 2010
    San Jose, CA / Zagreb, Croatia
    Club:
    --other--
    Country:
    Croatia
    Jesus Christ, this made me angry now. Farce.

    I was very happy to see a new league getting it's team in group stage (of the competition I fell in love with lately; ACL >> UCL :p) and now this happens. FFS!

    Now I wait them to throw Al-Zawraa out to make room for Qatari or Saudi team. Instead of doing everything to spread the game more, to give more teams and leagues chance, they - AFC - are doing everything to stop minnows appearing in top competition. Instead of growing, in five years there will only be 8-9 countries.
     
  6. Suren01

    Suren01 Member+

    Apr 9, 2012
    Netherlands
    Country:
    Iraq
    They'll say that the Iraqi team didn't meet the ACL Licensing requirements and send them to the AFC Cup :(
     
  7. dinamo_zagreb

    dinamo_zagreb Member+

    Jun 27, 2010
    San Jose, CA / Zagreb, Croatia
    Club:
    --other--
    Country:
    Croatia
    Yes. Compatible for AFC Cup where they can't drive top teams from top leagues crazy, but not compatible for CL. And I am sure they would be capable to do big things in CL. Not from start, but after 2-3 appearances, not to mention if they played their home games in Iraq.

    Shame.
     
    Suren01 repped this.
  8. Edgar

    Edgar Member

    Iran, not Qatar. Saudi Arabia already have 3 direct spots.
     
  9. dinamo_zagreb

    dinamo_zagreb Member+

    Jun 27, 2010
    San Jose, CA / Zagreb, Croatia
    Club:
    --other--
    Country:
    Croatia
    Whatever, Iran, KSA, Qatar, UAE. It is elitism at it's best. 5 countries in West and 4 in East for 30 spots out of 32, remaining 37 leagues are practically irrelevant. It is shown with preliminary stages formats where low profile teams have one leg against top teams - and have to play those away.

    I think they find it to be a problem when Vietnamese or Thai teams fulfill all criteria so there's no reason to remove them from group stage.
     
  10. Angsa

    Angsa Member

    Aug 26, 2008
    Hong Kong
    Club:
    Everton FC
    Country:
    Argentina
    AFC kicks all the minnows out because Japanese FA don't want to play them. They consider the matches against minnows a waste of their time and causes them a loss of income.
     
  11. Angsa

    Angsa Member

    Aug 26, 2008
    Hong Kong
    Club:
    Everton FC
    Country:
    Argentina
    11.5. Where a club that meets the sporting criteria does not receive a license, the club which finished in the next highest position in the national top division league which is licensed shall replace it.

    11.12. If an eligible club refuses to enter an AFC Competition, despite being licensed and meeting the sporting criteria, the slot allocated to its MA shall be annulled, regardless of whether it is a direct slot or playoff slot.

    From a number of interviews, it is clear this is what happened.

    1. Eastern lost its sponsor and wrote to HKFA to withdraw its entry to ACL.
    2. HKFA applies ACL licenses for both Kitchee and Southern District.
    3. Eastern found a replacement sponsor and applies for ACL license on its own without telling HKFA.
    4. HKFA submits Kitchee and Southern District as its representative clubs in AFC competitions.
    5. AFC grants licenses to all 3 Hong Kong clubs.
    6. AFC decides to apply rule 11.12 to take the ACL slot away from HKFA.

    But rule 11.12 said if an eligible club REFUSES to enter. Here in HKFA's case Eastern is now WILLING to enter, just that HKFA did not submit its entry. Would AFC seek Eastern's response to decide if they actually REFUSE to enter?
     
  12. mdhm

    mdhm Member

    Southern District FC
    Hong Kong
    Nov 7, 2010
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Country:
    Hong Kong
    Is the format of qualification rounds same as previous edition? Will AFC assign the matchup according to the MA rankings in each geographical zone?
     
  13. Angsa

    Angsa Member

    Aug 26, 2008
    Hong Kong
    Club:
    Everton FC
    Country:
    Argentina
    http://www.scmp.com/sport/hong-kong...ng-fa-chief-blunder-row-over-champions-league

    Mark Sutcliffe is in South Korea for an ACL workshop and said: “Firstly, I think it is sad and unnecessary that this issue has been brought into the public domain. It should have been discussed in private.

    “However, now that it is, all I can say at this juncture is that the Kitchee version of events contains many fundamental and significant inaccuracies. I will correct these after I have met with officials from the AFC and return to Kong Kong.
    “I am hopeful that we can work together for the benefit of Hong Kong football, I’m sure that’s what we all want.”

    I hope the matter is resolved without Hong Kong losing the direct group stage place.
     
  14. antonytse

    antonytse New Member

    Jul 17, 2014
    Club:
    --other--
    Country:
    Hong Kong
    Yes, it will be assigned according to MA rankings. There is no information about the format of qualification stages yet.

    If it is same as last 2 previous seasons, and if Hong Kong side Eastern Long Lions is allocated a direct slot to play in ACL 2017 group stage, Hong Kong side Kitchee shall meet the Vietnamese club Hanoi T&T in the 2nd round of the qualification. The winner between Kitchee and Hanoi T&T will meet Jeju United in the play-off round.
     
  15. antonytse

    antonytse New Member

    Jul 17, 2014
    Club:
    --other--
    Country:
    Hong Kong
    #15 antonytse, Nov 21, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2016
    For those who wants to know more about the format of the qualification stages last 2 years:

    No matter how the result of the 2nd leg of Final (Al Ain vs Jeonbuk Motors) is, the East Zone ranking is finalized as the deadline of FIFA ranking this month is passed. The East Zone finalized ranking is as follows: (only top 12 is listed)

    1. Korea Republic (3+1)
    2. Japan (3+1)
    3. China PR (2+2)
    4. Australia (2+2 --> 2+1 as only 9 clubs are eligible, 12 clubs are required for ACL)
    5. Thailand (1+2)
    6. Hong Kong (1+1)
    7. Vietnam (0+1)
    8. Malaysia (0+1)
    9. India (0+1)
    10. Indonesia (0+1)
    11. Myanmar (0+1)
    12. Philippines (0+1)

    Using the qualification format of 2015 and 2016 edition, the default qualification format shall be as follows:
    (MA1 means Member Association ranked as no.1, so far so on)

    The clubs that will be played in qualification stages will be given a rank according to its MA rank.

    Rank - Club
    1 - MA1, 4th (Jeju United or Ulsan Hyundai)
    2 - MA2, 4th (Kashima Antlers or Kawasaki Frontale)
    3 - MA3, 3rd (Shanghai SIPG)
    4 - MA3, 4th (Shanghai Shenhua)
    5 - MA4, 3rd (Brisbane Roar)
    6 - MA4, 4th (No club as A. League doesn't meet the requirement of 4 clubs in ACL)
    7 - MA5, 2nd (Sukothai)
    8 - MA5, 3rd (Bangkok United)
    9 - MA6, 2nd (Kitchee)
    10 - MA7, 1st (Hanoi T&T)
    11 - MA8, 1st (Johor Darul Ta'zim)
    12 - MA9, 1st (Bengaluru)
    13 - MA10, 1st (TBA)
    14 - MA11, 1st (Yadanarbon)
    15 - MA12, 1st (Global)

    By default, the clubs will be assigned in this fixture:
    1 vs (8 vs 9)
    2 vs (7 vs (10 vs 15))
    3 vs (6 vs (11 vs 14))
    4 vs (5 vs (12 vs 13))

    But club ranked 6 (i.e. Australian 4th club) should be skipped, so the fixtures will be changed to:
    1 vs (9 vs 10)
    2 vs (8 vs 11)
    3 vs (7 vs (12 v 15))
    4 vs (5 vs (13 v 14))

    So let's assume
    * The format qualification stages will not be changed;
    * Eastern (from Hong Kong) is allowed to play in ACL 2017;
    * All other MAs will used up all the slots they can have,
    the fixtures of the 2017 ACL East qualification stage will be:

    1st round
    Match 1: Bengaluru vs Global
    Match 2: Indonesian league champions vs Yadanarbon

    2nd round
    Match 3: Kitchee vs Hanoi T&T
    Match 4: Bangkok United vs Johor Darul Ta'zim
    Match 5: Sukothai vs Winner of match 1
    Match 6: Brisbane Roar vs Winner of match 2

    Play-off round
    Match 7: Jeju United or Ulsan Hyundai vs Winner of match 3
    Match 8: Kashima Antlers or Kawasaki Frontale vs Winner of match 4
    Match 9: Shanghai SIPG vs Winner of match 5
    Match 10: Shanghai Shenhua vs Winner of match 6
     
    mdhm, Matilda Maniac and dinamo_zagreb repped this.
  16. Angsa

    Angsa Member

    Aug 26, 2008
    Hong Kong
    Club:
    Everton FC
    Country:
    Argentina
    HKFA CEO Mark Sutcliffe returned to Hong Kong from the ACL final in Korea where he met AFC officials. He called an emergency board meeting and the board decided to re-submit the clubs Eastern Longlions and Kitchee as HKFA's AFC club competition representatives.

    Mark Sutcliffe claimed that AFC had allowed HKFA to re-submit the representative clubs. I hope Eastern Longlions and Kitchee are accepted by AFC for the ACL. I am no fan of Eastern Longlions but I don't want HK to lose out in the ACL.

    In a column in Oriental Daily, Eastern Longlions convener Leung Shou-Chi said the club will go to Thailand for a week's training in December.
     
  17. Angsa

    Angsa Member

    Aug 26, 2008
    Hong Kong
    Club:
    Everton FC
    Country:
    Argentina
  18. mdhm

    mdhm Member

    Southern District FC
    Hong Kong
    Nov 7, 2010
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Country:
    Hong Kong
    *Under current arrangements the AFC Member Associations are calculated on a 70/30 ratio where 70 relates to the results gained by clubs in AFC Competitions and 30 by the performance of Member Association representative teams in international competitions. The new system will be based on 100% club performance.

    NT performance will no longer be counted for future editions of AFC Champions League & AFC Cup.
     
  19. dinamo_zagreb

    dinamo_zagreb Member+

    Jun 27, 2010
    San Jose, CA / Zagreb, Croatia
    Club:
    --other--
    Country:
    Croatia
    That's great news. NT shouldn't be linked with club competitions.

    I truly hope HKG will have it's team in ACL.
     
  20. Angsa

    Angsa Member

    Aug 26, 2008
    Hong Kong
    Club:
    Everton FC
    Country:
    Argentina
    We should find out on 24 Nov when AFC ratify the entries submitted by all the national FAs.
     
  21. antonytse

    antonytse New Member

    Jul 17, 2014
    Club:
    --other--
    Country:
    Hong Kong
    After doing some search on the net, the AFC meeting tomorrow (24 November 2016) will be held in Al-Ain (the city where UAE club Al-Ain FC located).

    The matter about the number of foreign player allowed in ACL will be discussed in the meeting. Some Mainland Chinese sources stated that the foreign policy may be changed to 4+1 or 5. But it will only be effective after or in 2018 as the rules of 2017 ACL have already been finalized on 9 November 2016 (i.e. 3+1 foreign players limit).

    Meanwhile, Hong Kong FA CEO Mark Sutcliffe has published a new blog post about the incident of Hong Kong clubs participating in 2017 ACL (http://marksutcliffe.blogspot.hk/2016/11/afc-champions-league.html, written in English).

    He is confident that Hong Kong will finally have 1 club directly in the group stage and 1 club in the playoff.
     
  22. dinamo_zagreb

    dinamo_zagreb Member+

    Jun 27, 2010
    San Jose, CA / Zagreb, Croatia
    Club:
    --other--
    Country:
    Croatia
    Any news on qualification to AFC Cup for group stage third-placed teams (as it was mentioned by Chinese media when this season started)?
     
  23. antonytse

    antonytse New Member

    Jul 17, 2014
    Club:
    --other--
    Country:
    Hong Kong
  24. GoYoungrokba

    GoYoungrokba Member+

    May 21, 2009
    Club:
    Suwon Bluewings
    Country:
    Korea Republic
    If FC Seoul wins KFA Cup final against its archrival Suwon Bluewings, Ulsan Hyundai will get the spot in the playoff while Jeju United with automatic birth to the group stage; otherwise, Jeju will have to play playoff as Suwon secures its spot in the group stage with the KFA Cup trophy.
     
  25. antonytse

    antonytse New Member

    Jul 17, 2014
    Club:
    --other--
    Country:
    Hong Kong

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