No AFC Cup slot for Federation Cup winners; Pune FC could play in Champions League playoff

Author : Amoy Ghoshal
Pune FC could play in the Asian Champions League qualifying playoff

Pune FC could play in the Asian Champions League qualifying playoff

East Bengal’s hopes of playing in the AFC Cup for the fifth straight edition are already over as it has been confirmed that the winners of this season’s Federation Cup will not get a slot in Asia’s Europa League.

The AIFF has decided that the champions (Churchill Brothers) and runners-up (Pune FC) of last season’s I-League will be representing India in Asian club competitions this time. Since Pune FC have also acquired the national and AFC club license, the Red Lizards are also eligible to play in the Asian Champions League qualifying playoff if India are allotted a slot there.

“We have decided not to include the Federation Cup winners this time. The I-League champions and runners-up will be playing in the AFC Cup. But yes, if we get a slot there (Asian Champions League qualifying playoff), Pune FC could be playing in it. It will be decided at the executive committee meeting of the AFC in November,” I-League CEO Sunando Dhar told Sportskeeda on Monday.

Thus 2013 AFC Cup semi-finalists East Bengal will miss out as they finished third in the I-League last season. Churchill Brothers’ only previous appearance in the AFC Cup came in 2010 when they reached the round of 16 while Pune FC will be making their debut in Asia.

The last time an Indian club played an Asian Champions League qualifying playoff was in 2011 when Dempo were beaten 2-0 by the eventual winners of that season, Qatar’s Al Sadd.

The three teams besides the 13 I-League clubs for the 16-team Federation Cup was also confirmed by the AIFF on Monday. As revealed by Sportskeeda last month, those three clubs are United Sikkim and the third and fourth placed teams of last season’s second division – Bhawanipore of Kolkata and Langsning from Shillong.

Langsning and Bhawanipore replace the disbanded Pailan Arrows and Mumbai Tigers, who withdrew from the I-League.

Federation Cup Draw & Fixtures (To be held in Kerala)

Federation Cup 2013-14

MATCH SCHEDULE

Group A

 

Churchill Brothers Sports Club

United Sports Club

Pune Football Club

Langsning Football Club

Date

Team A

vs

Team B

1/1/2014

Churchill Brothers Sports Club

vs

United Sports Club

1/1/2014

Pune Football Club

vs

Langsning Football Club

4/1/2014

United Sports Club

vs

Pune Football Club

4/1/2014

Langsning Football Club

vs

Churchill Brothers Sports Club

7/1/2014

United Sports Club

vs

Langsning Football Club

7/1/2014

Churchill Brothers Sports Club

vs

Pune Football Club

Group B

Sporting Clube de Goa

Kingfisher East Bengal Club

Bengaluru Football Club

Rangdajied United Football Club

Date

Team A

vs

Team B

2/1/2014

Bengaluru Football Club

vs

Sporting Clube de Goa

2/1/2014

Kingfisher East Bengal Club

vs

Rangdajied United Football Club

5/1/2014

Sporting Clube de Goa

vs

Kingfisher East Bengal Club

5/1/2014

Rangdajied United Football Club

vs

Bengaluru Football Club

8/1/2014

Sporting Clube de Goa

vs

Rangdajied United Football Club

8/1/2014

Kingfisher East Bengal Club

vs

Bengaluru Football Club

Group C

Salgaocar Football Club

McDowell’s Mohun Bagan A.C

Mumbai Football Club

Shillong Lajong Football Club

Date

Team A

vs

Team B

1/1/2014

Salgaocar Football Club

vs

Shillong Lajong Football Club

1/1/2014

McDowell’s Mohun Bagan A.C

vs

Mumbai Football Club

4/1/2014

Shillong Lajong Football Club

vs

McDowell’s Mohun Bagan A.C

4/1/2014

Mumbai Football Club

vs

Salgaocar Football Club

7/1/2014

Shillong Lajong Football Club

vs

Mumbai Football Club

7/1/2014

Salgaocar Football Club

vs

McDowell’s Mohun Bagan A.C

Group D

Dempo Sports Club

Mohammedan Sporting Club

United Sikkim Football Club

Bhawanipore Football Club

Date

Team A

vs

Team B

2/1/2014

Dempo Sports Club

vs

Bhawanipore Football Club

2/1/2014

Mohammedan Sporting Club

vs

United Sikkim Football Club

5/1/2014

Bhawanipore Football Club

vs

Mohammedan Sporting Club

5/1/2014

United Sikkim Football Club

vs

Dempo Sports Club

8/1/2014

Bhawanipore Football Club

vs

United Sikkim Football Club

8/1/2014

Dempo Sports Club

vs

Mohammedan Sporting Club

Semi- Final 1

10/1/2014

Winner Group A

vs

Winner Group C

Semi- Final 2

10/1/2014

Winner Group B

vs

Winner Group D

Final

12/1/2014

Winner Semi-Final 1

vs

Winner Semi-Final 2

 

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