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India ranked 17th in AFC Club Competitions Ranking

Published at :May 28, 2024 at 4:27 PM
Modified at :May 28, 2024 at 4:27 PM
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India’s rank in West Asia in ninth.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has confirmed the latest AFC Club Competitions Ranking, with Saudi Arabia taking the top spot.

With a total of 103.148 points to their name, chart-toppers Saudi Arabia are followed by Japan and Korea Republic in the second and third places respectively.

The West Asians’ comfortable lead is largely thanks to the stellar performance of the Kingdom’s top clubs in recent seasons, including Al Hilal SFC’s AFC Champions League (ACL) titles in 2019 and 2021, and a runners-up finish in 2022.

Moreover, in the 2023/24 season alone, alongside Al Hilal, three other Saudi Arabian clubs — Al Nassr, Al Ittihad and Al Fayha — booked their places in the Knockout Stage of the Continent’s premier club competition, with the Jorge Jesus-led side making it to the last four before bowing out in the Semi-finals to Al Ain FC of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The consistent performance of Japanese clubs in the Knockout Stages of the ACL collectively contributed to the East Asians claiming the second spot on the rankings with 96.999 points.

With Yokohama F Marinos finishing as runners-up on Saturday, the 2023/24 season marked the appearance of a Japanese club in the ACL Final for the fifth time since 2015. Urawa Red Diamonds claimed the title in 2022 and 2017 and finished runners-up in 2019, while Kashima Antlers were crowned champions in 2018.

Placing third with 93.600 points, Korea Republic have been yet another perennial contender for the throne where Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC etched their name on the trophy in 2016, while Pohang Steelers settled for the runners-up position in 2021.

The UAE, who earned a total of 74.873 points, owe much of their fourth-place finish to Al Ain, who finished the 2023/24 season as champions of the final edition of the competition, after narrowly missing out on the title in 2016.

Meanwhile, with the 2022 AFC Cup title being clinched by Oman’s Al Seeb, the West Asians were the highest climbers in the latest rankings, jumping eight places to the 20th position. The Kyrgyz Republic and Mongolia also made significant jumps, moving up six places each to the 27th and 34th spots, respectively.

Additionally, in the slot allocation for the AFC Club Competitions 2025/26 season, Saudi Arabia lead the way in the West with three clubs earning direct entry to the Group Stage of the AFC Champions League Elite (ACL Elite), while a fourth will represent the Kingdom in the AFC Champions League Two (ACL Two).

India ranked 17th in AFC Club Competitions Ranking

The UAE and Qatar follow, each securing two direct spots and one indirect place in the ACL Elite, along with a direct spot each in the ACL Two.

In the East, Japan have the highest number of allocated places with three direct ACL Elite spots coupled with one club gaining entry to the Group Stage of ACL Two.

The remaining two MAs with four spots each are Korea Republic and China PR, who will both have the same representation as their West Region counterparts of UAE and Qatar.

India have been ranked 17th in Asia and ninth in West Asia and will get two spots in the ACL 2 – one direct entry to group stages, another to playoffs.

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