AFC Champions League 2022 will begin with the qualifying playoffs from March 8 to March 15, 2022. The tournament will conclude with a two-legged final, slated for February 19 and February 26, 2023.
The group stage draw for the AFC Champions League 2022 was held on Monday, January 17. Forty teams were drawn into ten groups of four, with five groups each in the West Region (Groups A–E) and the East Region (Groups F–J). Out of the 40 teams, 33 sides directly qualified for the draw while seven spots are reserved for the winners of the qualifying playoffs.
While the West Region comprise teams from associate members from the West Asian Football Federation (WAFF), the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF), and the Central Asian Football Association (CAFA), the East Region features contingents from the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) and the East Asian Football Federation (EAFF).
Defending champions Al-Hilal are clubbed with Qatar's Al-Rayyan and Tajikistan's Istiklol in Group A while Indian Super League champions Mumbai City FC have been drawn in Group B with UAE’s Al Jazira, Saudi Arabia’s Al Shabab and Iraq’s Air Force Club.
The AFC Champions League 2022 group stage in the West Region will be played between April 7 and April 27. The East Region, on the other hand, will have the group stage schedule commence from April 15 and continue till May 1, 2022.
The knockout stages will begin from August 18, 2022 starting with the East Region. The round of 16 for the West Region is scheduled for February 2023.
The AFC Champions League 2022 final will be played over two legs on February 19 and 26, 2023. While the first leg will be hosted in the West Region, the second leg will be hosted in the East Region.
In compliance with COVID-19 protocols and the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022 dates, all matches will be played at centralised venues.
AFC Champions League 2022 groups
Group A: Al-Hilal, Al-Rayyan, Istiklol, Play-off Winner 3
Group B: Al-Jazira, Al-Shabab, Mumbai City FC, Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
Group C: Foolad, Shabab Al-Ahli, Ahal, Al-Gharafa
Group D: Al-Duhail, Sepahan, Pakhtakor, Play-off Winner 1
Group E: Al-Sadd, Al-Faisaly, Al-Wehdat, Play-off Winner 2
Group F: Shandong Taishan, Urawa Red Diamonds, Lion City Sailors, Play-off Winner 4
Group G: BG Pathum United, Jeonnam Dragons, United City, Melbourne City
Group H: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, Yokohama F. Marinos, Hoang Anh Gia Lai, Play-off Winner 1
Group I: Kawasaki Frontale, Guangzhou, Johor Darul Ta'zim, Play-off Winner 3
Group J: Shanghai Port, Chiangrai United, Kitchee, Play-off Winner 2
AFC Champions League 2022 schedule
Preliminary round - March 8, 2022 (East Region)
Play-off qualifying - March 15, 2022
Group Stage: April 7-27, 2022
Round of 16: February 3 and February 4, 2023
Quarter-finals: February 7, 2023
Semi-final: February 10, 2023
Group Stage: April 15-May 1, 2022
Round of 16: August 18 and 19, 2022
Quarter-finals: August 22, 2022
Semi-final: August 25, 2022
AFC Champions League 2022 final (1st leg): February 19, 2023
AFC Champions League 2022 final (2nd leg): February 26, 2023
Where to watch AFC Champions League 2022 live in India?
The AFC Champions League 2022 will be telecast on the Star Sports TV channels in India.
Live streaming of the AFC Champions League 2022 will be available on the Disney plus Hotstar app and website.
Featured photo: AFP / FAYEZ NURELDINE