AFC Champions League 2023-24 Group Stage draw will take place at the AFC House in Kuala Lumpur on August 24, 2023.
Marking the first instance of the AFC Club Competitions calendar shifting from its current Spring-Autumn season to an Autumn-Spring calendar, the 21st edition of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC)’s flagship club competition will take place from September 2023 to May 2024.
The 40 teams will be divided into ten groups of four, five in the West Region (Groups A-E) and five in the East Region (Groups F-J).
Of the 40 participating teams, the berths of 32 contenders have been confirmed while the remaining eight slots will be occupied by the winners from the Playoff Stage. Owing to the principle of country protection, clubs from the same Member Association (MA) will not be drawn into the same group.
In the East Zone, to join the ranks of former champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC, Ulsan Hyundai FC, and Pohang Steelers in the Group Stage, defending champions Urawa Red Diamonds from Japan will have to first navigate past Hong Kong, China’s Lee Man in the Playoff Stage on August 22 before they can embark on their journey to clinch Asia’s ultimate club prize for a fourth time.
Meanwhile, the West Zone will see four former champions, namely Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal SFC and Al Ittihad, Al Ain FC from the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar’s Al Sadd SC attempt to reclaim the Continental throne.
The pots for participating clubs in the AFC Champions League 2023-24 Group Stage Draw are:
Pot 1: Al Ittihad (KSA), Persepolis FC (IRN), Al Sadd SC (QAT), Pakhtakor (UZB), Al Hilal SFC (KSA)
Pot 2: Sepahan SC (IRN), Al Duhail SC (QAT), FC Nasaf (UZB), Al Fayha FC (KSA), Nassaji Mazandaran FC (IRN)
Pot 3: Al Faisaly (JOR), FC Istiklol (TJK), Air Force Club (IRQ), Ahal FC (TKM), Mumbai City FC (IND)
Pot 4: Al Ain FC (UAE), Al Nassr (KSA)/Shabab Al Ahli (UAE), Tractor FC (IRN/Sharjah FC (UAE), Al Arabi SC (QAT)/AGMK FC (UZB), Al Wakrah SC (QAT)/Navbahor (UZB)
Pot 1: Ulsan Hyundai FC (KOR), Yokohama F. Marinos (JPN), Wuhan Three Towns FC (CHN), Buriram United (THA), Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC (KOR)
Pot 2: Ventforet Kofu (JPN), Shandong Taishan FC (CHN), Bangkok United (THA), Pohang Steelers (KOR), Kawasaki Frontale (JPN)
Pot 3: Hanoi FC (VIE), Kaya FC-Iloilo (PHI), Johor Darul Ta’zim (MAS), Melbourne City FC (AUS), Lion City Sailors (SGP)
Pot 4: Kitchee SC (HKG), Incheon United FC (KOR)/Haiphong FC (VIE), Urawa Red Diamonds (JPN)/Lee Man (HKG), Zhejiang FC (CHN)/Port FC (THA), Shanghai Port FC (CHN)/BG Pathum United (THA)
Following the contest between the Asian powerhouses in the Group Stage, the 10 group winners along with the three best runners-up of each Zone will book their places in the Knockout Stages, which will take place from February to April before the coveted Final is held over two legs on May 11 and 18, 2024.