AFC Champions League 2022: When is it, how to watch, remaining teams, prize money, star players and previous ACL winners

The 2022 edition of the AFC Champions League has officially begun as Asia’s top teams vie to be crowned the continent’s champions.

Saudi Arabian giants Al-Hilal clinched the title last year after beating Pohang Steelers 2-0 in the final.

Here’s everything you need to know about the current campaign…

When will the AFC Champions League 2022 be played?

stage Date (East Region) Date (West Region)
Group stage MD1 15-16 April 7th-8th April
Group stage MD2 18-19 April 10th-11th April
Group stage MD3 21-22 April 14-15 April
Group stage MD4 24-25 April 18-19 April
Group stage MD5 27-28 April 22-23 April
Group stage MD6 April 30 – May 1 26-27 April
round of 16 18-19 August 3rd-4th February (2023)
quarter finals August 22nd February 7 (2023)
semifinals 25.8 February 10 (2023)
final (first leg) February 19, 2023
final (second leg) February 26, 2023

The group stage of the AFC Champions League was due to start in February but was delayed by two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This delay means the entire group stage has been squashed into a single month, with the final taking place in February 2023.

Each knockout game, with the exception of the final, will be played over a single leg.

The next edition of the AFC Champions League is not expected to start until mid-2023.

How to watch and stream the AFC Champions League in 2022

Australia United States of America Canada India Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore
TV channel Star India
stream Paramount+, 10Play Outstanding+ Outstanding+ Disney+ Hotstar, JioTV Eleven sports

ViacomCBS is a major broadcaster of the AFC Champions League with all matches available through its Paramount+ streaming service in a number of territories.

The platform has recently become a big player when it comes to soccer rights, with free trials for new users.

Which teams remain in the AFC Champions League this year?

A total of 39 teams participated in the group stage of the AFC Champions League after the port of Shanghai was forced to pull out due to the COVID situation in China. The competition expanded from 32 to 40 teams in 2021.

These teams are still fighting for the title when we advance to the round of 16:

association country region
Al Hilal Saudi Arabia west
Shabab Al-Ahli United Arab Emirates west
Al-Shabab Saudi Arabia west
Nasaf Qarshi Uzbekistan west
Al Duhail Qatar west
Al Rayyan Qatar west
Al Faisaly Saudi Arabia west
fool Iran west
Daegu FC South Korea east
Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors South Korea east
BG Pathum United Thailand east
kitchen Hong Kong east
Johor Darul Ta’zim Malaysia east
Red Urawa Diamonds Japan east
Vissel Kobe Japan east
Yokohama F. Marinos Japan east

AFC Champions League prize money: how much do teams get?

Aside from the actual title, progressing and winning the ACL comes with a significant amount of prize money for clubs.

This is how the 2022 prize money will be distributed:

result Prize money (USD)
Group stage win $50,000
Group stage draw $10,000
round of 16 $100,000
quarter finals $150,000
semifinals $250,000
runners-up $2,000,000
master $4,000,000

Star players to watch out for in AFC Champions League 2022

As always, numerous stars will compete in the AFC Champions League in 2022.

Former Barcelona star Andres Iniesta will play for Japanese club Vissel Kobe and will be joined by another ex-Barca player in the form of Bojan Krkic.

Qatari club Al Sadd, previously coached by Barcelona manager Xavi, also boast some big names in former Premier League duo Santi Cazorla and Andre Ayew.

Previous winners of the AFC Champions League

Al-Hilal became the most successful club in the competition as they clinched their fourth title in 2021.

They were previously level with Pohang Steelers, who lifted the trophy three times.

South Korea remains the most successful country in the ACL, with their clubs having won the title 12 times.

Here are the recent winners of the AFC Champions League:

association Year
Al Hilal 2021
Ulsan Hyundai 2020
Al Hilal 2019
Kashima antlers 2018
Red Urawa Diamonds 2017
Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 2016
Guangzhou Evergrande 2015
Western Sydney Wanderers 2014
Guangzhou Evergrande 2013
Ulsan Hyundai 2012

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