By Ahn Hong-seok Lee (Reporter) = The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Champions League has finalized the format for the 2024-2025 season, which will feature three groups of four teams.
The AFC announced on Tuesday that its Women’s Football Committee met in Sydney, Australia, and decided on the format of the Women’s Champions League, which will see 12 participating teams divided into three groups.
The eight teams that make it through the group stage will play a single-leg tournament from the quarterfinals to the final to determine the winner.
The teams that advance directly to the knockout stages will be determined using individual countries’ Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) world rankings, the AFC added.
If a team does not receive a ticket to the knockout stage based on its ranking, it will have to go through a qualifying tournament.
The qualifiers will run for one week from August 25-31 next year. This will be followed by the main group stage from October 6-12.
The quarterfinals will be played on March 22-23, 2025, and the semifinals and final on May 21-24.
In addition, the AFC has decided to delay the application of the club licenses required for teams to participate in the Champions League until after the 2028-2029 season.
Starting with the 2028-2029 season, clubs that do not meet the licensing criteria will be ineligible to participate in the competition.
Given the different levels of development of women’s soccer leagues around the world, the idea is to allow time for institutional improvements.
This means that teams from the WK League of Women’s Unemployment Soccer will also have the opportunity to compete in the invitational tournament.
There are currently no teams in the WK League that meet the AFC’s requirements, such as running a girls’ team, participating in competitions, and running a secretariat with “sufficient staff,” so it’s a breath of fresh air that the licensing system has been postponed.
Instead, they have been tasked with overhauling their internal and external systems to meet the standards by the 2028-2029 season.
“The reality of each club’s situation is not easy, but we will discuss with the Korea Football Association to find a way to meet the AFC club license standards,” said Kim Jung-sun, secretary general of the Korean Women’s Football Association.
However, in the case of Mungyeong Sangmu, one of the eight teams in the WK League, which has the unique distinction of being a national army sports unit, it is difficult for them to realistically overhaul the team as required by the AFC.
The criteria and procedures for participation in the competition will be announced at a later date for the four seasons from 2024-2025 to 2027-2028, which is effectively a ‘transitional period’.온라인바카
The AFC said: “All member national associations that have complied with the Champions League regulations will be able to proceed with the entry process. The specific criteria will be approved by the Women’s Football Committee in due course.”
The Women’s Champions League is an expansion of the AFC Women’s Club Championship, which has been played since 2019.
In 2022, the AFC Women’s Club Championship will be split between East and West Asia. Asian Scholars College of Thailand won the East Asian title and Sogdiana Zizak of Uzbekistan won the West Asian title.