Will the 3rd place team in this year’s K League 1 qualify for the ‘ACL Elite’?
From the 2024-2025 season, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League Elite (ACLE) and AFC Champions League 2 (ACL2)메이저사이트 will be differentiated. The K-League will also send teams to both competitions. In Europe, it is similar to teams participating in both the UEFA Champions League (UCL) and the UEFA Europa League.
The AFC announced the structure of the new ACL after going through the Executive Committee on the 14th. Reorganization into three competitions similar to Europe is the key to change. ACLE will reduce the number of participating teams to 24, and from the quarterfinals, they will gather in one region and play as a short-term tournament. 32 teams participate in ACL2. The third phase of the competition, equivalent to the current AFC Cup, is the AFC Challenge League (ACGL).
Currently, the K-League sends 4 teams to the ACL, but from the 2024-2025 season, 3 teams to the ACLE and 1 team to the ACL2 will participate. Currently, the 1st to 3rd places in the K League 1 and the FA Cup winners advance to the continental competition. After the competition is reorganized, two options are possible. There is a plan for the 1st to 3rd places in the K League 1 to participate in ACLE and the FA Cup winning team to go to ACL2. Alternatively, it is also possible that the 1st and 2nd place in the K League 1 and the winner of the FA Cup have the right to advance to the ACLE, and the 3rd place in the K League 1 can advance to the ACL2.
This is directly related to the results of this season. Currently, the semifinals of the FA Cup are Jeonbuk Hyundai (3rd in K League 1) vs. Incheon United (7th), and Jeju United (8th) vs. Pohang Steelers (2nd). In the case of Incheon and Jeju, the rankings are in the middle, but the difference between Jeonbuk and Jeonbuk in 3rd place is only 5 and 6 points, respectively. Depending on the reward, which side to place more weight on at the end of the season, finishing third or winning the FA Cup, may vary. In addition, as the ACLE prize money has tripled from the current season, the value of participation has increased.
Teams that have already advanced to the semifinals of the FA Cup are experiencing confusion over scheduling issues. As the FA Cup schedule was postponed due to World Scout Jamboree and weather problems, it became difficult to schedule a new game day. In the end, the plan to reduce the final to a single match rather than home and away is a strong situation.
Meanwhile, in the K-League, the number of winter games has increased as the ACL has been held as a Chu-chun system since this season. In the case of this season, some of the group stage matches will be held in the 2nd week of December, and the first leg of the round of 16 will be held in the 2nd week of February. It was a time when the game had been played before, but the ground was frozen and the risk of injury was high, and it was uncomfortable to watch because of the cold. It is necessary to prepare for the schedule of having to play winter games every season.