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AFC Champions League – Push for an Asian Super League

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Asian biggest clubs want to play the tournament on their own. The AFC has reportedly given the go-ahead for the continent to copy a bad idea of the Europeans. And it seems that FIFA will support the decision as it did in Africa.

By Facundo Di Bona (@facudibona).

The failed attempt of the big European clubs to create their own Super League is well known. But now similar formats have also appeared in other FIFA confederations.

Real Madrid and Barcelona, among others, wanted to replace the Champions League with a tournament where the big clubs were already inside. Although they are not the only ones in the world with such ideas.

Now it is the AFC -Asian Football Confederation– that would carry out a tournament with the best clubs of the continent. According to Saudi media, the proposal was raised and supported by the Confederation and has the backing of FIFA.

Unlike this almost identical proposal, the attempt to create a European Super League did not go down well with UEFA. This is where FIFA’s support for the changes in Asia seems to lie.

Benefits for some and exclusion for others

This new format would start in the 2024-25 season and would be promoted by the AFC itself. It would also include the 24 best teams chosen from among the most powerful leagues: United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Uzbekistan, Japan, South Korea, China and Australia.

Meanwhile, there was no information on how clubs from countries that are not on the latest list could enter. So, we will have to wait to find out if teams from India, Iran and Malaysia, among others, will be able to play in the tournament.

According to media reports, the AFC would be willing to distribute profits of up to $14 million to the champion. While $2 million would go to each participating team from its entry fee.

Until the last tournament, the champion – Al Hilal – took $3 million. While the runners-up, Pohang Steelers, took 1.5 of the same currency in prize money.

Asia was not the only continent to replicate Europe’s intentions. In Africa, CAF promoted a similar format with the top continental champions. The African Confederation would also be supported by FIFA.

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