KUALA LUMPUR: The Asian Football Confederation has set the stage for the first season of the AFC Women’s Champions League 2024-25 by announcing the key dates and entry criteria.

The upcoming campaign promises to be a thrilling exhibition of top-tier women’s football talent from across Asia. With a dynamic format aimed at fostering competitive spirit, the tournament aligns seamlessly with the AFC’s Vision and Mission.

Kicking off the action is the Preliminary Stage, slated for August 25 to 31, 2024. Featuring a centralised league format, the number of participating clubs, as well as their progression to the Group Stage, will be determined based on entries of participation received. Clubs with top seeding as per the Member Association’s women’s world ranking will enjoy direct qualification to the Group Stage, subject to entries.

Moving forward, the Group Stage will witness 12 clubs, divided into three groups of four each, engaging in 18 matches over three match days in a centralised league format from October 6 to 12, 2024. The top two finishers in each group, together with the two best third-placed teams, will advance to the Knockout Stage.

Following a break, the action resumes with the Quarter-finals on March 22 and 23, 2025. Featuring single-leg knockout matches between the eight clubs from the Group Stage, a draw will be held to determine the four pairings.

Culminating in the Final Stage, comprising the Semi-finals and the Final, the groundbreaking debut AFC Women’s Champions League season will unfold at a central venue over single legs from May 21 to 24, 2025.

Member Associations seeking to nominate a Participating Club must adhere to specific criteria, designed to promote long-term development in women’s football. These criteria, approved in March by the AFC Women’s Football Committee and subject to the AFC Executive Committee’s ratification, include:
Listing under the FIFA Women’s World Ranking
A domestic competition with a minimum of ten (10) matches per club
Appointment of a full-time dedicated official overseeing operational matters
Documentation of a plan for the implementation of women’s club licensing requirements by the 2027/28 season
Member Associations that meet the above requirements are required to nominate one participating club, based on principles of sporting merit, transparent nomination processes and adherence to domestic competition regulations. These nominations must be approved by relevant competent bodies within each Member Association and/or League before submission to the AFC by May 2, 2024.