Largest-ever AFC Club Competitions’ cast to discover opponents
Kuala Lumpur: Asian club football looks set to usher in a new era with its biggest-ever season as the attention shifts towards the Group Stage draws for this year’s AFC Cup and AFC Champions League, which is scheduled to take place in a virtual ceremony on January 27, 2021 in Malaysia at 2:30pm and 4:30pm (local time) respectively.
Both club competitions will see a record number of clubs compete in 2021, with two additional groups – one each for the East and West Regions – included in this season’s AFC Champions League Group Stage, which has expanded from 32 to 40 clubs.
Alaa Abbas, Alireza Beiranvand, Ellie Carpenter and more: Vote for your AFC International Player of the Week!
Kuala Lumpur: Another week, another raft of Asian stars performing at the peak of their powers on the international stage, but who was the most impressive of all?
Alaa Abbas and Hwang Ui-jo both found the back of the net, a pair of Iranian shot-stoppers produced clean sheet heroics and Lee Jae-sung beat the champions of Europe, while Ellie Carpenter and Saki Kumagai both starred in France.
Familiarise yourself with our shortlist – based on performances from January 13 to 19 – and don’t forget to cast your vote.
Park Ji-sung: Investment in youth development vital to bridge gap with Europe
Goyang: Park Ji-sung's focus will be on youth development as the Korea Republic legend embarks on his new role as adviser to K League champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.
Park, who spent an extensive amount of time playing in Europe for PSV Eindhoven, Manchester United and Queens Park Rangers, witnessed first hand how investment in development paved the way for success and the 39-year-old is hoping to make a difference in the K League.
Zurich: In light of recent media speculation about the creation of a closed European 'Super League' by some European clubs, FIFA and the six Confederations (AFC, CAF, Concacaf, CONMEBOL, OFC and UEFA) once again would like to reiterate and strongly emphasise that such a competition would not be recognised by either FIFA or the respective confederation. Any club or player involved in such a competition would as a consequence not be allowed to participate in any competition organised by FIFA or their respective Confederation.
As per the FIFA and Confederations statutes, all competitions should be organised or recognised by the relevant body at their respective level, by FIFA at the global level and by the Confederations at the continental level. In this respect, the Confederations recognise the FIFA Club World Cup, in its current and new format, as the only worldwide club competition while FIFA recognises the club competitions organised by the Confederations as the only club continental competitions.
The universal principles of sporting merit, solidarity, promotion and relegation, and subsidiarity are the foundation of the football pyramid that ensures football’s global success and are, as such, enshrined in the FIFA and Confederation statutes. Football has a long and successful history thanks to these principles. Participation in global and continental competitions should always be won on the pitch.
Gianni Infantino – FIFA President
Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa – AFC President
Constant Omari – CAF Acting President
Vittorio Montagliani – Concacaf President
Alejandro Domínguez – CONMEBOL President
Lambert Maltock – OFC President
Aleksander Čeferin – UEFA President