Wednesday, 24th April 2024

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Not like England?…2024-2025 ‘ACL Elite’ direct entry team is K League 1 + FA Cup Champions

The teams receiving direct tickets to next season’s Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League Elite (ACLE) have been confirmed as this year’s professional soccer K League 1 and Korean Football Association (FA) Cup champions.

Ulsan, the reigning K League 1 champions, and Pohang, the FA Cup winners, will compete in the ACLE.

The Korea Football Association (KFA) announced on Tuesday the qualifications of the K League 토토사이트 teams participating in the 2024-2025 ACL..

According to the announcement, the teams that will go directly to the 2024-2025 ACLE are this year’s K League 1 champions and FA Cup winners. As such, Ulsan and Pohang will participate in the ACLE. Ulsan won its first back-to-back K League 1 titles after defeating Daegu 2-0 at home on March 29.

Pohang defeated Jeonbuk in the FA Cup final on March 3.

Starting with the 2024-2025 season, AFC will split the ACL into the top tier ACLE and the second tier ACL2. This is in line with UEFA’s division of club competitions into the Champions League (UCL) at the top and the Europa League (UEL) at the next level.

This change in the way ACL competitions are conducted has raised the need to clarify the qualifications for ACLE and ACL2 in Korea.

In particular, as the AFC allocated 2 + 1 berths to Korea for the ACLE and 1 berth for the ACL2, the eyes of the soccer world turned to the criteria for selecting the two teams that will go directly to the top tier competition.

With opinions divided on whether the first and second place teams in the K League 1 should be given a ticket to the ACLE, and the winner of the K League 1-FA Cup should be given one, the AFC chose the latter for the 2024-2025 season.

As a result, the second-place team in K League 1 this season will play in the playoffs instead of the ACLE.

If FA Cup winner Pohang (60-2) finishes second, the next best team in the standings will qualify for the playoffs. Currently, third place is Gwangju FC (57 points).

The top-ranked teams in K League 1, excluding the ACLE and the three teams in the playoffs, will compete in ACL2.

“The qualifications for the ACLE and ACL2 for the 2025-2026 season will be finalized before the start of next year’s season after further consultation with the Korea Professional Football Association,” the KFA said.

The announcement puts to rest the controversy surrounding direct tickets to the ACLE, but it is likely to continue.

This is because it raises the equity issue of whether a K League 1 champion who plays 38 games a year to win the trophy is the same as an FA Cup winner who wins five or six games from the round of 32 to reach the top.

In Europe, in England alone, the top four teams in the Premier League qualify for the top tier Champions League, and the FA Cup and League Cup winners usually get a ticket to the Europa League. The rest of Europe is pretty much the same.

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