Kuala Lumpur: Football administrators from across the continent brainstormed on Tuesday in the Joint Meeting of Ad-Hoc Committees for Professional Football and decided to amend the criteria for participation in the AFC club competitions.
The meeting, which was chaired by Captain Saburo Kawabuchi of Japan, showed a new pathway for the future of continent’s premier club competitions.
It was decided to introduce penalties in the form of points deduction instead of taking the slot away from the Member Associations (MAs) who fail to meet the criteria of participating in the AFC Champions League.
The MAs, however, will have to acquire a minimum number of 600 points out of a possible 1000 to qualify for participation.
The slots for each eligible MA will be decided based on the points ranking of the MAs. The top two ranked MAs in both the East and West zones will get four direct slots each, while the third-placed MAs will be given three direct and one playoff spot. The fourth-ranked MAs will get two direct and one playoff spot, while the fifth MA will get one direct and one playoff slot. The sixth, seventh and eighth-placed MAs will get only a playoff spot each.
The AFC Club Licensing System will come into force from 2013 and the clubs participating in the AFC Champions League must be authorised with a licence from its MA or league by October 2012.
It was also decided not to impose penalties on the MAs if they take appropriate decisions or actions against match-fixing and corruption. A task force will also be set up to deal with the match-fixing and corruption cases. The objective of the task force would be to prevent, protect and investigate such cases.
The members also discussed criteria for participation in the AFC Champions League in 2015 and 2016, new format and schedule of 2013 ACL and AFC Cup finals, possibility of simultaneous kickoff for Group Stage Match Day 6 and several proposals from the members.
All decisions of this committee need to be ratified by the AFC Competitions Committee and later by the AFC Executive Committee to take effect.