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Pune FC to play in Asian Champions League play-off

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

India has been awarded a play-off slot for next year's Asian Champions League, the continent's top-tier club competition in football.

All India Football Federation said that last season I-League runners-up Pune FC will feature in the play-off.

Churchill Brothers were the winners of the last I-League season (2012-13) but they have not fulfilled the AFC Club Licensing criteria required to take part in Asian Champions League.

Pune FC is the only club in the country which has fulfilled the AFC Club Licensing criteria.

India has got the play-off slot after a gap of two years. Dempo SC were the last Indian club to play in the play-offs of the AFC Champions League in 2011 where they lost to Qatar Stars League heavyweights Al Sadd.

Two AFC Cup slots have also been allocated to India with a caveat that should Pune FC fail to qualify for the main round of the Asian Champions League, they would take up one AFC Cup slot with I-League Champions Churchill Brothers being the other.

However, if Pune FC make it to the 2014 AFC Champions League, the door will be open for AFC Cup semi-finalists East Bengal who finished third in the I-League last season to try and better their performance in the international arena.

First Published: Tue, November 26 2013. 18:37 IST