The qualifiers for the AFC Competitions 2023-24 for the Indian clubs are to be played between April 4 to May 3, 2023, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) said on Tuesday.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has allocated three slots to India — one in the AFC Champions League Group Stage, one in the AFC Cup Group Stage, and one slot for the AFC Cup Qualifiers.
One slot has been allocated in the AFC Champions League 2023-24 group stage, one in the AFC Cup 2023-24 group stage and one slot in the AFC Cup 2023-24 preliminary round. The qualifying matches for the three slots among Indian clubs will be played between April 4 and May 3.
For the AFC Cup group stage, the winner of the I-League 2021-22 (Gokulam Kerala FC) and the winner of the 2023 Super Cup will compete for this slot on April 29 if required. The winner of the Super Cup will be decided on April 25.
If the team that qualified for AFC Champions League wins the 2023 Super Cup, then Gokulam Kerala FC will automatically qualify for the AFC Cup 2023-24 group stage without the need for a playoff.
If Gokulam Kerala FC win the Super Cup 2023, then they will secure their qualification for the AFC Cup 2023-24 Group Stage. The qualifying match for Slot 2, should it be required, will be played on April 29, 2023.
For the AFC Cup preliminary round, the slot will be decided through a playoff between the winners of the ISL 2021-22 (Hyderabad FC) and the ISL 2022-23 (Bengaluru FC or ATK Mohun Bagan FC). The qualifying match, if needed, is expected to be played on May 3.
If Hyderabad FC have already qualified for Slot 2, then a qualification match for Slot 3 will not be required, and the winner of the ISL 2022-23 Trophy will take the slot in the AFC Cup 2023-24 Preliminary Round.
If the winners of the ISL Trophy 2022-23 have already qualified for Slot 2, then a qualifying match for Slot 3 will not be required, and Hyderabad FC would automatically play the AFC Cup 2023-24 Preliminary Round.
The Qualifying match for Slot 3, should it be required, will be played on May 3, 2023, or as decided by the AIFF. (ANI)