The 2022 AFC Champions League will commence next month with three A-League clubs taking part in Asia's top club tournament.  The Asian Football Confederation have now announced the centralized hosts for the eastern Group Stage matches.

2022 AFC Champions League 

  • Melbourne City, Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory have all qualified for this year's AFC Champions League competition.
  • Sydney and Victory will need to win their respective qualifying play-offs to proceed to the group stage.
  • The host cities and schedules for their possible groups, should they qualify, and City's were announced by the AFC.

More A-League news can be found on FTBL.

For this year's competition, the AFC Champions League Group Stage will be held by centralized hosts.  All matches of each group will be played in the same host city from April 15 to May 1, 2022.

Three A-League Men's clubs qualified for this year's AFC Champions League.  As 2021-22 A-League champions, Melbourne City have directly qualified for the competition's group stage. 

Sydney FC were second in the ladder last season, winning a spot for the 2022 AFC Champions League qualifying play-offs.  Melbourne Victory likewise received a slot in the play-offs as 2021 FFA Cup winners.

The Sky Blues will be the first team to play Champions League football this year, with the club facing Kaya-Iloilo on the 8th of March in their preliminary play-off.  They will host the Filipino side at the Jubilee Oval in Sydney. 

Should they win their preliminary match they will proceed to the second game of the qualifying rounds, the playoff round, and face Chinese side Changchun Yatai on March 15.  They will have to head to China to face the opponent at their Nanling Stadium.

A win against Changchun would see Sydney progress to Group H of the AFC Champions League.  The group's matches will be hosted in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam with Korean side Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, Kevin Muscat's Japanese side Yokohama F Marinos and Vietnamese side Hoang Anh Gia Lai already qualified.

Melbourne Victory will not need to play their preliminary round after Shan United withdrew from the competition.  This gave the Australian club an automatic pass to the play-off round.  Their match will not be easy.  Victory will have to go to Kobe, Japan to face Andres Iniesta's side Vissel Kobe at the Noevir Stadium.

Should Melbourne beat Kobe, they will progress to Group J of the ACL.  The group will be hosted in Thailand with Aaron Mooy's Chinese side Shaighai Port, Hong Kong side Kitchee SC and Thai side Chiangrai United having already qualified for the group stage.

As mentioned, Melbourne City are the only Australian side with automatic entry into the group stage. City are in Group G of the competition alongside Thailand's BG Pathum United, Korean team Jeonnam and Filipino side United City FC.  Their group stage will take place Bangkok, Thailand.

AFC Champions League schedule

Date Home Away Stage Location
8 March Sydney FC Kaya-Iloilo Preliminary Play-Off Sydney, Australia
15 March Vissel Kobe Melbourne Victory Play-Off Round Kobe, Japan
16 April BG Pathum United Melbourne City Group G Bangkok, Thailand
19 April Melbourne City United City FC Group G Bangkok, Thailand
22 April Melbourne City Jeonnam Dragons Group G Bangkok, Thailand
25 April Jeonnam Dragons Melbourne City Group G Bangkok, Thailand
28 April Melbourne City BG Pathum United Group G Bangkok, Thailand
1 May United City FC Melbourne City Group G Bangkok, Thailand

Network 10 have the rights to the AFC Champions League in Australia alongside Paramount Plus.


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The full A-League Men's schedule can be found using this link.