August 30 – The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has taken initial steps to develop the format of its AFC Cup competition with a series of meetings with clubs, leagues and national associations at the AFC HQ in Kuala Lumpur.
The AFC Cup is the confederations annual club competition for countries that fall into the AFC’s ‘developing nations’ category. Clubs entered come from so-called ‘emerging’ nations while clubs from the ‘mature’ nations compete in the AFC Champions League.
The 2016/17 competition has just finished its qualifying group stages with the winners now going through to the knockout rounds that will begin in February 2017.
The AFC has been working hard to develop its club competitions and with notable success – its recent club Futsal championships broke all media and attendance records. The AFC Cup is regarded as a key plank of the development strategy in the region.
In a statement the AFC said the Kuala Lumpur “workshop included studying several options for a new format in order to raise the technical level of the competition and to address the challenges currently faced. These include logistical, organisational and operational issues.
AFC General Secretary Dato’ Windsor John said: “The AFC Cup is growing in stature and we need to make sure the competition continues to develop in the right direction, ensuring we keep captivating audiences in all corners of Asia, and beyond.
“The AFC wants to hear the opinions of the clubs, leagues and our Member Associations on what they think the format of the AFC Cup should look like. Today’s event is all about listening and getting feedback.”
The deliberations of the workshop will be gathered by the AFC administration and fed in to the AFC Competitions Committee at its next meeting in November. Any decisions on a new competition format will be decided by he Competitions Committee and later put forward to the AFC Executive Committee for ratification.
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