New Delhi: Bengaluru FC (BFC) have benefitted from the recent merger of I-League champions Mohun Bagan and ATK. Bengaluru FC have got a play-off spot in the upcoming season’s AFC Cup despite finishing third in the Indian Super League (ISL).
FC Goa have got a direct berth in the group stage of the continent’s top tier club competition, AFC Champions League. They did so by topping the league phase of ISL. The Goan side are the first Indian club to do so.
Doors open for Bengaluru FC
I-League champions get a direct berth in the continent’s second tier club competition AFC Cup. Mohun Bagan had finished champions in the I-League. Thus the merged ATK-Mohun Bagan side will avail that slot.
The ISL league stage runners-up were to get the play-offs berth of the AFC Cup. But runners-up ATK have merged with Mohun Bagan. So the Sunil Chettri-led Bengaluru FC, which finished third in the league phase of ISL, will get the AFC Cup play-offs berth.
The news was confirmed Thursday by the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
“FC Goa, as the winner of the Hero ISL league phase for season 2019-20, get direct entry in the group stage of AFC Champions League. ATK-Mohun Bagan as a direct entrant play in in the group stage of AFC Cup. Mohun Bagan had become winners of the Hero I-League 2019-20,” the AIFF said.
“The AFC Cup play-off slot goes to Bengaluru FC who finished third in the ISL league phase in 2019-20. ATK, who finished runners-up in the league phase of the ISL 2019-20, as per their joint venture with Mohun Bagan, qualify automatically for the direct slot for the AFC Cup,” the AIFF added.