Radical changes in the AFC Champions League and Federation Cup .. between autumn and spring

The Asian Football Confederation revealed, on Friday, historical “dynamic improvements” to its continental championships, most notably the transfer of the Champions League and Confederation Cup competitions from their current system between the spring and autumn seasons to the autumn-spring period through two calendar years starting from the 2023-2024 season, and raising the number of foreign players. From four to six. 

In a statement, the federation said, "The AFC Executive Committee approved several strategic recommendations issued by the Competitions Committee, which indicates a new era of growth and success for the Asian club competitions."

The Champions League competition, the most prominent in Asia, has been held since the development of the competition at the beginning of the millennium between March and November, knowing that the repercussions of the Corona virus prompted the organizers to change its dates and system in the past two years.

The Continental Federation, which is based in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, considered that the decision taken after a comprehensive feasibility study and consulting the national federations "will benefit the elite clubs in the continent from more synchronized transfer windows and improved opportunities to contract with quality players and coaches" in line with the seasons of international leagues and a fairer distribution of matches. Clubs annually to maintain balance with the national team matches.

He added that "the recent decisions represent some of the most advanced improvements in the history of Asian club football," referring to "historic reforms whose principles were defined by Sheikh (Bahrain) Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa, president of the Asian Confederation, at the eighth meeting of the Executive Committee in November 2021."

In another decision in order to improve the quality of play and competition, the Executive Committee approved a recommendation to increase the number of foreign players in each team from 3 + 1 (three of any nationality with an Asian player) to 5 + 1, to be implemented from the 2023-2024 season.

The Federation stated that this decision received great support after the recent removal of the 3 + 1 ceiling in the preliminary registration list, which also increased from 30 to 35 players.

With regard to warnings and suspensions, the Executive Committee approved the proposal of the Competitions Committee to amend the rule for automatic suspension, so that the player is suspended after receiving three warnings in three different matches, instead of two warnings in two matches according to the previous law.

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