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India for Asian Champions League?

March 30, 2008 10:30 IST

The AFC Professional League Ad-Hoc Committee will visit the country for the second time on April 7 to assess whether India can send a club in the revamped AFC Champions League beginning next year.

Ad-Hoc Committee Deputy Chairman Tokuaki Suzuki and Chief Officer Satoshi Saito, who had visited India in November last year, will make further scrutiny if the country meets the entry criteria to the much anticipated league, besides meeting AIFF President Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi and General Secretary Alberto Colaco.

Formed in 2006 under the chairmanship of Saburo Kawabuchi, the brain behind the hugely successful J-League of Japan, the AFC Professional League Ad-Hoc Committee has visited 21 countries from April 2007 and narrowed down to 15 countries for a second visit.

The two-member committee will begin their visit of 15 proposed participating member associations in Thailand tomorrow. They will proceeed to Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, South Korea, Uzbekistan, India, Iran, Qatar, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, China and Australia.

The AFC Committee will meet on May 20 to finalise which of these countries satisfy the criteria to take part in the new competition which is likely to have 32 teams.

The countries were assessed in 10 areas -- organisation, technical standard, attendance, governance/soundness, marketing and promotion, business scale, match operations, media, stadia and facilities and clubs.

Further, clubs to participate in the new AFC Champions League must employ a full time General Manager or CEO as well as other professional and competent staff to overlook matters related to competition, technical, youth development, media, marketing, finance and administration.

The Committee would review the list of participating member associations again in 2010 and those who failed to meet the criteria for the 2009 edition can join the 2011 edition if they meet the criteria in 2010.

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