The draw has been made for the qualifying group stages of next year’s AFC Cup, and unless Kitchee are able to come out victorious in two stern AFC Champions League tests away to Hanoi T&T and Poyang Steelers respectively, both Kitchee (as HKPL champions) and South China (HKPL playoff winners) will again feature in the competition. The draw was made yesterday and the 32 participating teams have been drawn into eight groups of four.
Kitchee have been drawn in Group F, alongside Singaporean S-League 4th place finishers Balestier Khalsa, Maldivian Premier League champions New Radiant and Philippines UFL Cup winners Kaya FC. They will kick off their campaign at home to Kaya FC on the 23rd February, 2016.
South China join Group G with Indian I-League champions Mohun Bagan, Myamar National League champions Yangon United and Maldivian President’s Cup winners Maziya. The Caroliners will have to make the trip to Myanmar on the 24th February, 2016 when they will take on Yangon United (or Yadanarbon FC if Yangon United are able to advance to the group stages of the AFC Champions League).
With the Indonesian and Kuwaiti football associations being suspended and therefore clubs from these countries being unable to take part, both of Hong Kong’s teams have a very realistic chance of having a good run in this competition. A full fixture list can also be found here.
AFC CUP 2016 GROUP F
|BALESTIER KHALSA FC (SIN)|
|NEW RADIANT SC (MDV)|
|KAYA FC (PHI)|
AFC CUP 2016 GROUP G
|MOHUN BAGAN (IND)|
|SOUTH CHINA (HKG)|
|YANGON UNITED (MYA) or YADANARBON FC (MYA)|
|MAZIYA SPORTS & RC (MDV)|