The Korea Football Association (KFA) has announced the qualification of K League teams for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC)-organized international club competitions for the 2024-2025 season. The KFA has decided that the K League 1 champion and FA Cup winner will qualify for the Champions League Elite (ACLE), the K League 2 runner-up will compete in the ACLE Playoffs (PO), and the top-ranked team in this year’s K League 1 will compete in the ACL2, with the exception of the three teams that previously qualified for the ACLE and ACLE PO.굿모닝토토
The AFC announced that the existing Champions League (ACL) will be split into the ACLE and ACL2 competitions starting from the 2024-2025 season, which begins in the second half of next year. The ACLE will be the competition for the top clubs in each country, while ACL2 will be the second-tier competition. The AFC allocated berths to each competition based on each member’s league ranking, with South Korea receiving 2+1 berths to the ACLE and 1 to the ACL2. The AFC allows member associations to determine the eligibility of participating clubs.
As a result, the KFA decided that this year’s K League 1 champions Ulsan Hyundai and FA Cup winners Pohang Steelers will receive a direct ticket to the ACLE for the 2024-2025 season, while the second-place K League team (or third-place team if FA Cup winner Pohang is second) will play in the ACLE playoffs, and the top-ranked team in this year’s K League 1 will play in ACL2, excluding the three teams that previously played in the ACLE and ACLE playoffs.
With three games remaining per team in this season’s K League 1 before the league ends on December 3, the remaining spots will be allocated based on the final standings. For the ongoing ACL in the 2023-2024 season, the eligibility for K-League teams was limited to K-League teams ranked 1-3 and the FA Cup winner, of which the K-League 3rd place team had to go through a PO. However, if the FA Cup winner was among the K League 1-3 teams, the fourth-ranked K League team was given the opportunity to participate in the PO.
“The qualifications for the ACLE and ACL2 for the 2024-2025 season have not changed significantly from the existing ACL participation criteria,” the KFA explained, adding, “The qualifications for the ACLE and ACL2 for the 2025-2026 season will be finalized and announced before the start of next season after further consultation with the Korea Professional Football Association.”