Ulsan Hyundai and Pohang Steelers will compete in the top tier of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in 2024-25.
The Korea Football Association (KFA) announced on Tuesday the qualification of K League teams to compete in the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) international club competitions for the 2024-25 season.
Beginning with the 2024-25 season, which kicks off in the second half of next year, the AFC will split the existing AFC Champions League (ACL) into the Asian Champions League Elite (ACLE) and ACL2 competitions. The ACLE will feature the top clubs from each country, while ACL2 will be the second-tier competition.
The AFC has allocated spots for each competition based on each member’s league ranking. South Korea was allocated 2+1 berths for the ACLE and 1 for the ACL2. The AFC allowed member national associations to determine the eligibility of participating clubs.
As a result, the Korea Football Association decided that this year’s K League 1 champion (Ulsan Hyundai) and FA Cup winner (Pohang Steelers) will go directly to the ACLE in 2024-25, while the second-place K League team (or third-place team if FA Cup winner Pohang finishes second) will play in the ACLE playoffs.
This year’s top-ranked teams in the K League 1 will compete in the ACL2, with the exception of the three teams that will play in the ACLE and ACLE Playoffs. This season, the League will end on December 3. With three games remaining per team, the remaining spots will be allocated based on the final league standings.
The current K League 1 standings show Ulsan in first place (70 points), Pohang in second (60 points), Gwangju FC in third (57 points), and Jeonbuk Hyundai in fourth (53 points). Ulsan, the defending K League 1 champions, and Pohang, the FA Cup winners, have qualified for the ACLE, according to the Korea Football Association. 토토사이트
The third-place team in the K League must qualify for the ACLE playoffs. Gwangju and Jeonbuk will have a tougher battle in the standings. Just below them are Incheon United (52 points) and Daegu FC (49 points).
“The qualification criteria for the 2024-25 season has not changed significantly from the previous ACL,” the KFA explained. “The qualifications for the ACLE and ACL2 for the 2025-26 season will be finalized before the start of next year’s season after further consultation with the KFA.”