The Korea Football Association (KFA) has decided on the allocation of spots for the 2024-2025 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) club competitions.
In a press release on Tuesday, the KFA announced the eligibility of K League clubs to compete in the AFC-organized international club competition next season.
The AFC is revamping its club competitions from the 2024-2025 season. There will be two competitions, the AFC Champions League Elite (ACLE) and the AFC Champions League 2 (ACL2). Compared to European competition, the ACLE is the equivalent of the UEFA Champions League and the ACL2 is the equivalent of the UEFA Europa League.
The AFC allocated qualification spots for each competition based on each member nation’s league ranking. South Korea has been allocated 2+1 berths in the ACLE and 1 berth in the ACL2.
The AFC allowed member countries to decide how to select clubs for each competition. Two arguments were raised in Korea. One was that the FA Cup winner should be awarded a spot in the ACLE, and the other was that league standings should be prioritized, as they are in European leagues.
The KFA did not come to a clear conclusion until shortly after the FA Cup final, and decided that the FA Cup winner will go directly to the ACLE next season. As a result, Ulsan Hyundai, who clinched the K League 1 title early this season, and FA Cup winners Pohang Steelers will compete in the ACLE for the 2024-2025 season. 무지개토토
The second-place team in the K League 1, assuming Pohang, currently in second place, holds on, will play in the ACLE playoffs. Excluding the three teams that qualified for the ACLE including the playoffs, the top-ranked team in the K League 1 will qualify for the ACL2.
However, from the 2025-2026 season, there is room for change in the distribution of spots. “The qualification criteria for the 2024-2025 season has been set without significant changes from the existing AFC Champions League qualification criteria,” the KFA said. “The qualification criteria for the ACLE and ACL2 for the 2025-2026 season will be finalized before the start of next season after further consultation with the Korea Professional Football Association.”