The Qualifiers for the AFC competitions 2023-24 for the Indian clubs will be played between April 4 to May 3, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) said on Tuesday after the continental body offered the country three slots.
The Asian Football Confederation has allocated three slots to India — one in the Champions League group stage, one in the AFC Cup group stage, and one slot in the AFC Cup Qualifiers.
The winner of the Indian Super League Shield 2021-22 (Jamshedpur FC) and winners of the same in the 2022-23 season (Mumbai City FC) will fight it out in a one-off match on April 4. The match will be played between the matches of the Super Cup and the winners of the game will get a direct slot in the AFC Champions League 2023-24 group stage.
As far as the AFC Cup group stage is concerned, this slot will be determined between the winners of the I-League 2021-22 (Gokulam Kerala FC) and the winners of the Super Cup 2023.
If the winner of the Super Cup 2023 have already qualified for Slot 1, then Gokulam Kerala FC will get an automatic spot in the AFC Cup 2023-24 group stage.
If Gokulam Kerala FC wins the Super Cup 2023, then it will secure its qualification for the AFC Cup 2023-24 group stage.
The qualifying match for Slot 2, should it be required, will be played on April 29.
For the AFC Cup preliminary round, the slot will be decided between the winner of the ISL 2021-22 Trophy (Hyderabad FC) and the ISL 2022-23 Trophy (Bengaluru FC or ATK Mohun Bagan FC).
If Hyderabad FC has already qualified for Slot 2, then a qualification match for Slot 3 will not be required, and the winner of the ISL 2022-23 Trophy will take the slot in the AFC Cup 2023-24 preliminary round.
If the winner of the ISL Trophy 2022-23 has already qualified for Slot 2, then a qualifying match for Slot 3 will not be required, and Hyderabad FC would automatically play the AFC Cup 2023-24 preliminary round.
The qualifying match for Slot 3, should it be required, will be played on May 3, or as decided by the AIFF, the federation said.