A whopping $1 million prize purse awaits Indian champion club Bengaluru FC if they manage to beat Air Force Club of Iraq and clinch the AFC Cup in Doha on Saturday.
The runners-up side will bag $0.5 million.
The decision to increase the prize money for the winners of 2016 AFC Cup from $350,000 to $1 million was approved by the AFC Executive Committee at its meeting on November 27 in New Delhi.
The runners-up prize money was doubled from $250,000 to $500,000, while the semi-finalists, who received nothing in 2015, will get $40,000. The quarter-finalists and round of 16 clubs get $25,000 and $15,000 respectively.
Bengaluru FC became the first Indian club to reach the final of the AFC Cup when they beat defending champions Johor Darul Ta’zim FC 4-1 on aggregate in the semi-final (home and away format) last month.
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They now seek to become the first Indian football club to clinch a continental title when they lock horns with Air Force Club of Iraq in the summit clash of AFC Cup in Doha
Before this, the farthest an Indian club had advanced in a continental tournament was the two AFC Cup semifinal appearances by Dempo in 2008 and East Bengal in 2013.
Meanwhile, it’s learnt that All India Football Federation President Praful Patel will be in Doha to cheer for Bengaluru FC.
“#TheDohaDream a day away for @bengalurufc as they set to stride to script history for #IndianFootball. Will be there to cheer the team. #AFCCup,” Patel tweeted on his official Twitter account.