AFC unveils branding for its revamped club comps and addition of Women’s Champions League

May 21 – The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has unveiled the brand identities that will be introduced for the revamp of its men’s club competition structure into three new tiers, and the introduction of its Women’s Champions League.

The new competitions will take effect from the 2024-25 season and will see the AFC’s top 24 clubs compete in the AFC Champions League Elite (ACLE), while the 32-team second tier will be known as the AFC Champions League 2 (ACL2) and the third tier will see 20 clubs compete in the AFC Challenge League (ACGL).

The inaugural AFC Women’s Champions League will see the region’s top 12 clubs compete in the first year.

The AFC said the logo designs represent “a fusion of cultures, traditions and footballing prowess from across the vast expanse of the Continent, the logos and brands celebrate the richness of Asian football and aim to inspire excellence and unity among the players, fans and all stakeholders.”

The ACLE will be divided into 12 teams across the West and East regions competing in a league format with four home and four away matches against eight different clubs within its region.

The top eight sides from both regions – 16 in total – will advance to the Round of 16 knockout stage, which will be played in a home and away format.

The ACLE champions will win $12 million (up from the current $4 million for this season). The losing finalist will receive $6 million (up from $2 million). The AFC said that “both the ACL2 and ACGL will see boosts across the board in prize fund and benefits”.

While the clubs competing are not yet confirmed for the AFC Women’s Champions League, the format is.

The competition will kick off with a centralised preliminary stage August 25 to 31. Clubs qualify for a 12-team group stage with three groups of four playing 18 matches over three match days in a centralised league format from October 6 to 12, 2024.

The top two finishers in each group, together with the two best third-placed teams, will advance to the Knockout Stage.

Emphasising the requirement for sustainable and competitive men’s club competitions across Asia, AFC president Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim al Khalifa said: “Our club competitions are already amongst the best and most lucrative in Continental football, and today the AFC is embarking on a new and historic era with these forward-looking initiatives in both men’s and women’s Asian club football.”

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