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.