The AIFF, on Thursday, announced Bengaluru FC (BFC) as India’s third team in the 2021 AFC continental club competitions. The side will feature in the AFC Cup play-off next year, while FC Goa will play in the AFC Champions League group stage and ATK Mohun Bagan in the AFC Cup group stage.
The play-off slot was originally reserved for the winner of the ISL play-offs. ATK emerged on top, but after its agreement to form a joint venture with I-League winner Mohun Bagan, the Kolkata entity chose the direct entry into the group stage secured by the latter.
In such a scenario, the play-off position should have gone to the runner-up in the ISL league phase. Since ATK was the runner-up, BFC, which finished third, earned the honour. The decision by the AIFF means that all three Asia spots reserved for Indian sides for 2021 have gone to ISL clubs.
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