KUALA LUMPUR — The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has officially designated the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) as the host association for the AFC Champions League Elite – Final Stage for both the 2024/25 and 2025/26 seasons.

The top 24 clubs from the continent will be divided into West and East regions, each comprising 12 teams. These teams will engage in a home-and-away league format to secure a spot in the Round of 16, from which the eight victors will progress to the Final Stage.

In a groundbreaking move for the Asian club game, the Final Stage, encompassing the Quarter Finals, Semi Finals, and Final, will be played as single-leg ties in Saudi Arabia.

The pivotal clashes of the AFC Champions League Elite – Final Stage 2024/25 are set to take place from April 25 to May 4, 2025, with the ultimate champions vying for the largest-ever prize purse of $12 million.

This financial reward represents a threefold increase from the $4 million awarded to the champions in the current season. Similarly, the runners-up will receive triple the amount, with $6 million, up from the $2 million for this season.

Following an invitation to all Member Associations (MAs) to express their interest in hosting the event for at least two seasons starting from 2024/25, the SAFF emerged as the chosen host. The decision was based on an evaluation of infrastructure, accommodation, and other operational aspects necessary for a tournament of the stature of the continent’s revamped premier club competition.

In line with the submitted interest, the SAFF has also been provisionally granted hosting rights for the subsequent three seasons, from 2026/27 to 2028/29.

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