Two clubs from Bangladesh have been confirmed for the upcoming AFC Cup even though the names of the clubs have not been confirmed as the Bangladesh Premier League is yet to be completed.
Though five-time league champions Abahani, who were the lone representatives of the country in the last edition, are all but certain of their second successive berth by dint of their Federation Cup victory this year, the name of the second team will be confirmed after the completion of the league, which is scheduled to end on January 13.
Usually the league champions are given direct entry into the group stages while Federation Cup winners have to qualify for the group stages through playoff qualifiers.
At the moment, Chittagong Abahani are on top of the league table followed by Sheikh Jamal DC, Abahani and Saif SC, but only Abahani, Saif SC and Mohammedan SC are eligible to take part in the AFC Cup as the nine other clubs of the league have failed to meet the criteria for the AFC Cup.
However, Abahani can directly play in the group stages, subject to their league standing while Saif SC and Mohammedan SC must finish among top four in the league table to be eligible for consideration for the playoff qualifiers.
During the AFC Cup draw in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, the top seed from Bangladesh (league champions) were drawn in Group E alongside India's Aizawl FC/Mohun Bagan, New Radiant SC of Maldives and another team from India/Maldives/Bhutan/Bangladesh, who will join through playoff qualifiers.
The playoff qualifiers will be held on January 23 and 30 while the playoff matches will take place on February 13 and 20.