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Direct entry to the ACLE for the 2024-2025 season confirmed as K League 1-FA Cup champions…”Next season to be discussed further”

The highly anticipated direct ticket to next season’s Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League Elite (KCLE) will be awarded to the winner of this year’s professional K League 1 and Korea Football Association (FA) Cup.

The Korea Football Association (KFA) announced on Tuesday the eligibility of domestic professional teams to participate in the AFC-organized club competition for the 2024-2025 season.

Heading to the ACLE for the 2024-2025 season are this year’s K League 1 champions Ulsan Hyundai and FA Cup winners Pohang Steelers. Starting next season, the AFC will split the ACL into the top-tier ACLE and the second-tier ACL2. This is in line with the way UEFA divides its club competitions into the Champions League (UCL), Europa League (UEL), and Europa Conference.

The AFC has allocated Korea 2+1 berths in the ACLE and 1 berth in the ACL2, but there have been conflicting interpretations from associations and federations on which team gets the two direct berths to the top-tier competition. While the association argued that the tickets should be given to the champion in addition to the K League 1 winner, citing FA Cup authority, the federation argued that they should be given to the first and second place teams in the league based on the value of a season. 토토사이트

In the end, it was decided that the federation’s view would be prioritized and further discussions would be held for the 2025-2026 season.

This season, the second-place teams in the K League 1 will compete in the playoffs instead of the ACLE. However, if FA Cup winner Pohang (60-2) finishes second in the final standings, the third-placed team will qualify for the playoffs. Currently, third place is Gwangju FC (57 points). Excluding the ACLE and the three teams in the playoffs, the top-ranked teams in K League 1 will compete in the ACL2.

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