The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League 2023-24 group-stage draw will take place at the AFC House in Kuala Lumpur on August 24, 2023, at 1:30 PM IST.
This edition of the AFC Champions League is the first competition since the governing body decided to shift from its current Spring-Autumn season to an Autumn-Spring calendar. It will be held from September 2023 to May 2024.
How will the draw work?
40 teams will be divided into 10 groups of four teams each.
Teams in the West Zone will be categorised in Groups A to E and teams in the East Zone will be in Groups F to J.
Clubs from the same Member Association (MA) will not be drawn into the same group.
The West Zone will see Saudi Arabian heavyweights such as Al Hilal, Al Ittihad and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr, while the United Arab Emirates will have representation from Al Ain FC. From Qatar, there will be Al Sadd SC, which will look to reclaim the title.
Mumbai City FC, league winner of the Indian Super League (ISL), will feature in the competition for the second time after it scripted history last year by becoming the first Indian club to register a win in the AFC Champions League. It is also in the West Zone and has been drawn in Pot 3 along with clubs like Al Faisaly (JOR), FC Istiklol (TJK), Air Force Club (IRQ), and Ahal FC (TKM).
In the East Zone, Japanese club Urawa Red Diamonds, which is the defending champion, will join clubs like Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC, Ulsan Hyundai FC, and Pohang Steelers in the group stage after securing victory in the playoff round.
Can Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr face ISL club Mumbai City FC?
Al-Nassr clinched a 4-2 win against UAE’s Shabab Al Ahli 4-2 in the AFC Champions League playoff to confirm its participation in group stages. The Saudi-based club has been drawn into Pot 4 of the West Zone, which means there is a chance that Ronaldo and his team can be drawn into the same group as ISL club Mumbai City FC, which is in Pot 3 and is the only club from India in the competition.
Following the group stages, all 10 group winners, along with the three best runners-up will qualify for the knockout stages, which is scheduled to take place from February to April.
The final will take place over two legs on May 11 and May 18, 2024, respectively.
AFC Champions League 2023-24: Pots for the final draw
When and where will the AFC Champions League group-stage draw take place?
Where can you watch the AFC Champions League group-stage draw?
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