The Macau team finished the qualifiers as runners-up with the same points as Mongolian team Erchim in Group B, but with a better goal difference.
The rumours started during the 2017 AFC Cup playoff qualifiers draw, when Benfica Macau manager Duarte Alves was approached by an AFC representative in order to know if Benfica Macau would be available to participate in the AFC Cup group stage in case the competition would be expanded from 32 to 40 teams. Apparently, the football confederation also struggles with a lack of submissions from eligible teams, which could increase the chance for Benfica to appear in next year’s competition.
Duarte Alves stated that Benfica Macau would be definitely interested in this scenario, provided that the decision is made in time to allow an appropriate preparation.
The AFC competition committee will meet on November 24th.
(Photo source: Benfica Macau Facebook)