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SBD Global/November 28, 2013/International Football
Asian Football Confederation Looks To Incorporate Oceania Into Qualifying Equation
Published November 28, 2013
EAST AND WEST: The AFP also reported the Middle Eastern clubs will be slotted into a “West” zone, while the East Asian clubs will play in an “East” zone, with the two zones separated until the semifinals. Arabian Gulf League clubs "will participate in the West." The UAE "will have three automatic qualification slots," as well as one playoff slot. Australia, meanwhile, "were handed a second automatic spot" for the regional club competition while India, Singapore, Hong Kong and Vietnam all get a chance to enter via a broadened playoff system (THE NATIONAL, 11/27). AFC officials decided on Tuesday night that Australia's allocation "would be increased from 1.5 spots to 2.5 for next year." It means Central Coast Mariners and Western Sydney "are guaranteed spots in the group stages while Melbourne Victory, which finished third last season, will get the chance to qualify via a playoff against a yet-to-be determined opponent" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 11/28). THE PENINSULA reported Qatar "will get two automatic berths in the 2014 edition of the AFC Champions League." Qatar was "fielding four teams up until this season but from next year, Qatari clubs will get two automatic berths while two more spots could be earned through qualification" (THE PENINSULA, 11/27).