Vietnamese league champions SHB Danang are among the eight clubs eligible to the play-offs for the 2010 AFC Champions League.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has just announced the eight names. Leading the list are Syria’s Al Karamah and Kuwait SC, who will play the AFC Cup final on November 3. The Syrian club lost 1-2 to Vietnam’s Binh Duong in the first leg of their semifinals, and beat Binh Duong 3-0 in the second leg last week to win 4-2 on aggregate.
The other five clubs named by AFC are Indian champions Churchill Brothers, Indonesia’s Sriwijaya, Singapore champions Armed Forces, Thai champions Muang Thong United, and Al Wahda, the fourth-placed club of United Arab Emirates.
However, AFC rules that participation in the play-offs is conditional on the teams fulfilling the football body’s criteria for professionalism, including clubs being registered as businesses. The champions of Vietnam in 2008, Binh Duong, failed the criteria and had to play in the AFC Cup.
AFC is scheduled to announce the final list in November after checking other requirements such as encouraging youth development and having a minimum number of players under professional contracts.
Only two teams – one from East and one from West – will survive the play-offs to go through to the group stages of next year’s Asian Champions League.