India are one of the 16 teams that will participate in the competition.

In addition to the game-changing reforms to the AFC’s club competitions announced earlier today, the AFC Competitions Committee has also approved several other key decisions.

Following the withdrawal of the Bahrain Football Association from hosting the AFC U-17 Asian Cup 2023, the Competitions Committee approved the proposal to award the hosting rights of the age group competition to the Football Association of Thailand.

Further, in view of the possibility that the AFC Champions League 2022 would only be completed after the FIFA Club World Cup 2022, the Competitions Committee agreed to nominate Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal SFC, the reigning Asian club champions as the AFC’s representative for the upcoming edition of the world club showpiece.

Members of the Committee also noted the challenges of having the Host Member Associations (MAs) of Final Competitions participate in the Qualifiers.

Therefore, as part of efforts to minimise any adverse effects which may occur and in the interest of upholding the optimum sporting and technical standards for all participating teams, the Committee decided that all Host MAs would no longer participate in the Qualifiers in all AFC centralised competitions.

The Committee was also apprised of the Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran (FFIRI) Club Licensing Administration (CLA)’s ability to address and rectify all its deficiencies following the AFC Club Licensing Task Force’s earlier decision at its meeting on August 24, 2022, to uphold the suspension of the FFIRI CLA.

Consequently, the Committee approved the latest decision by the AFC Club Licensing Task Force on December 9, 2022, to remove the suspension imposed on FFIRI and agreed for the AFC to continue monitoring the FFIRI CLA’s adherence to the Club Licensing Quality Standard Requirements.

In addition, the Competitions Regulations of the AFC Champions League 2023/24, AFC Cup 2023/24, AFC U23 Asian Cup 2024 as well as the amendments to the Entry Manual for AFC Club Competitions (Edition 2021) were also approved by the Committee.

All decisions will need to be ratified by the AFC Executive Committee before taking effect.

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