The allocation of qualifying spots for Asia's most elite club competition has received an overhaul, which could see previously excluded clubs included in the tournament
Earlier in the week, the AFC Ad-hoc Evaluation Committee had met to discuss Asian club competitions, whereby criteria for participation was a key discussion point. During the meeting, the Committee put together a report which the ExCo approved at Thursday's gathering.
The changes focus on re-structuring the allocation of Member Association (MA) slots to the ACL, which will be based on a points system for a variety of criteria that includes attendance, technical standard, business scale and governance.
The new system will see the two MAs from East and West Asia with the most points, automatically earn four ACL spots. Based on the current rankings, Japan, Korea, Qatar and Saudi Arabia would allow earn four automatic slots.
The third-ranked MAs will gain three automatic spots and one play-off position, while the fourth will get two and one, the fifth one and one respectively.
Teams from Singapore, Vietnam, Kuwait, Syria and Jordan could be admitted into the competition too, as the sixth, seventh and eighth-ranked MAs, can earn play-off spots.
The aforementioned MAs currently occupy those ranked positions in West and East Asia. However, under the new system all MAs must achieve a minimum of 600 points out of a possible 1000 to be considered which may prove a sticking point.