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I-League champions Aizawl FC will play Iranian side Zobahan FC in the play-off match of the AFC Champions League on January 30.
If the Mizoram side beat Zobahan in the play-off match, they will be placed in Group B in the main round of the prestigious continental league along with Al Duhail (Qatar), Al Wahda (UAE) and PFC Lokomotiv (Uzbekistan).
Zobahan competed in the Persian Gulf Pro League and finished fourth last season. They finished runners-up in the 2010 AFC Champions League.
The draws for the AFC Champions League and AFC Cup were announced today in Kuala Lumpur.
In case Aizawl fail to progress to the main round of the AFC Champions League, they will still get a direct entry in the AFC Cup in Group E, where they will be clubbed with New Radiant FC (Maldives), the winner of Bangladesh League (yet to be determined) and another play-off winner.
For this play-off winner’s slot, the Federation Cup champions will play one preliminary round (home and away) and then a play-off match.
Bengaluru play Transport United of Bhutan on January 23 and 30 in the preliminary round.
If Bengaluru win their home and away games, they will play the other preliminary round (home and away) tie winner between the second-placed clubs of Bangladesh and Maldives in a play-off match for a spot in Group E.
If Aizawl qualify for the main AFC Champions Trophy, I-League runners-up Mohun Bagan will take the Mizoram side’s place in the Group E of AFC Cup, the second tier club competition of the continent.
Thus, India can have two clubs in the AFC Cup if Bengaluru FC get through the preliminary and play-off rounds. In such a case, both the Indian clubs will be in the same Group E.