Indian Super League (ISL) side ATK Mohun Bagan have been clubbed with Bangladesh's Basundhara Kings, Maldives' Maziya S&RC and the winner of the play-off round in the Group D (South Zone) of the AFC Cup 2021.
Fellow ISL side Bengaluru FC will be facing the winner of the qualifying play-off preliminary round one clash between Nepal Army Club and Sri Lanka Police in the preliminary round two. In the other preliminary round two clash, Bangladesh, Abahani Dhaka will face the winner of Maldives' Club Eagles and Bhutan's Thimphu City. Both matches will be played on April 14.
The winners of the preliminary round two will square off in a play-off clash and the winner of that match will join the other three clubs in Group D.
This year all AFC Club competitions will be held in a centralised venue. The group stage matches of the AFC Cup South Zone which is the Group D will commence on May 14.
The AFC Cup West Zonal Semi-finals will be held on September 13 and 14 with the second-leg scheduled to take place two weeks later. The ASEAN Zonal Semi-finals will take place on August 10 and 11 over a single leg.
The two-legged Zonal final involving South, Central and East clubs is scheduled for August 11 and 25, with the ASEAN single-leg Zonal final planned for August 25, before the two-legged West Zonal Final takes place on October 20 and November 3.
The two-legged Inter-zonal Semi-Finals is scheduled for September 14-15 and 28-29 with the Inter-zonal Final to be staged on October 20 and November 3.
ATK Mohun Bagan, after their merger, took Mohun Bagan's AFC Cup group stage slot which they had earned by winning the I-League last season. As a result the qualifying preliminary round two slot which was kept for the ISL champions which ATK won, went to Bengaluru FC as they finished third in the league of the ISL 2019-20 season.