KUALA LUMPUR: The Asian football confederation has been forced into more rearrangements of its AFC Cup after the latest withdrawals – in this case of Myanmar’s Shan United and Hantharwady United.

A statement from the AFC Competitions Committee said:

With a view to ensure the consistency and integrity of the AFC Cup 2022TM as well as the original draw mechanics, seedings and draw results of the Group Stage and Playoff Matches and to minimise the impact of the withdrawal of Myanmar clubs, the Committee decided to cancel the Playoff match between Cambodia’s Visakha FC and Young Elephants FC from Laos which was scheduled for April 19, 2022.

Instead, both clubs have been awarded slots to the Group Stage, with Visakha FC occupying position G4 in Group G, which was originally reserved for the winner of the Playoff match, joining Indonesia’s Bali United FC, Malaysia’s Kedah Darul Aman FC and Kaya FC-Iloilo from the Philippines.

At the same time, Young Elephants FC, which were in the same ranking pot as the withdrawn Hantharwady United FC, will be placed in position I4 in Group I alongside Vietnam’s Viettel FC, Hougang United from Singapore and Phnom Penh Crown FC of Cambodia.

Meanwhile, there will be no replacement for Shan United FC and therefore Group H will feature three Participating Clubs – Malaysian side Kuala Lumpur City FC, Singapore’s Tampines Rovers and PSM Makassar of Indonesia.

Additionally, in determining the remaining slots for the AFC Champions League 2022TM, it was earlier confirmed that the Preliminary Stage match between Shan United FC and Melbourne Victory had been cancelled with the recently crowned FFA Cup winners advancing to the Playoff stage where they will face Japan’s Vissel Kobe on March 15, 2022.

AFC Champions League

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has taken note of the Chinese Football Association (CFA)’s confirmation of Changchun Yatai FC’s withdrawal from participating in this season’s AFC Champions League™.

Therefore, in accordance with the AFC Champions League 2022™ Competition Regulations, the Playoff Stage match between Changchun Yatai FC and the winners of the Preliminary Stage tie between Australia’s Sydney FC and Kaya FC-Iloilo from the Philippines, which was scheduled to take place on March 15, 2022, has been cancelled.

Consequently, the winners of the Sydney FC and Kaya FC-Iloilo Preliminary Stage tie on March 8, 2022, will receive a direct entry into Group H, where they will face two-time winners Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors from Korea Republic, Japan’s Yokohama F Marinos and Vietnam’s Hoang Anh Gia Lai.

The centralised matches for Group H are scheduled to be contested in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, from April 15 to May 1.