Doha, Qatar: Qatar, along with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) each, have secured two direct spots in the AFC Champions League Elite (ACL Elite) and one indirect place in the ACL Elite, along with a direct spot each in the AFC Champions League Two (ACL Two).

It is expected that Al Sadd (the QSL champions) will participate alongside Al Rayyan (second in the league) in two direct spots, while Al Gharafa, which finished third, will play in the indirect spot.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) yesterday announced the slot allocation for the AFC Club Competitions 2025/26 season with Saudi Arabia leading the way in the West with three clubs earning direct entry to the Group Stage of the ACL Elite, while a fourth will represent the Kingdom 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 South Korea and China, who will both have the same representation as their West Region counterparts of UAE and Qatar.

The AFC also 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 South Korea 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’s AFC Champions League (ACL) titles in 2019 and 2021, and a runners-up finish in 2022.

© Dar Al Sharq Press, Printing and Distribution. All Rights Reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (