November 16 – The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has doubled the prize money for its flagship Champions League final winners from $1.5 million to $3 million.
The runners up will also have their prize money doubled to $1.5 million while the semi-finalists received $200,000 this season, up from $120,000.
AFC General Secretary Dato’ Windsor John said: “The AFC Executive Committee decided to increase the prize money on offer for our top club competitions, the AFC Champions League and AFC Cup final, to reward success and to further increase the appeal of the competition.
The AFC Champions League is played over two legs with the first taking place this weekend between Korea’s Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and the UAE’s Al Ain at the Jeonju World Cup stadium in Korea Republic. The return leg is in Al Ain on November 26.
The boost in prize money makes the AFC Champions League the second most valuable confederation club competition in the world after UEFA’s Champions League, and on a par with the prize money for CONMEBOL’s Copa Libertadores winners.
It is not just the AFC’s Champions League that has seen an increase in prize money. The 2016 AFC Cup prize find was also bumped up with clubs earning a total of $2.1 million – an increase of $1.5 million from 2015. Iraq’s Air Force Club won the competition and $1 million, increased from $350,000 for the winners in 2015. Runners-up JSW Bengaluru FC from India received $500,000 – double the previous year.
“An objective in our Vision and Mission, is the AFC’s commitment to develop world-class competitions as we strive to ensure the success of our teams on the biggest stages,” said John.
“In addition to elevating the standard of our teams, the investment in our club competitions will also pave the way for greater fan engagement and increased sponsor and broadcaster interests, as we have already seen this season.”
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