The AFC Champions League (ACL) will be expanded to accommodate 40 clubs from across Asia starting 2021 season, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has announced.

At present, Asia’s premier club football competition features 32 teams who are drawn into eight groups of four teams each. Of the eight groups, four feature clubs from the West Zone (Groups A to D) while the other four groups feature teams from East Zone (Groups E to H).
The AFC has now decided to make it a 40-team affair meaning that the upcoming 2020 season will be the final edition of the AFC Champions League featuring 32 teams.

“From the 2021 season, the ACL will be expanded to 40 clubs with an extra group of four being added in both the East and West Zones and further growing the reputation of one of the richest continental club competitions in the world,” AFC said.

The decision was taken during the second AFC Executive Committee meeting of the 2019-2023 cycle that was chaired by AFC vice-president and FIFA Council member Saoud Al Mohannadi in Da Nang, Vietnam.