Sydney and Adelaide heading to Champions League

November 22, 2006

MELBOURNE, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Sydney FC and Adelaide United will be Australia's representatives in the 2007 Asian Champions League, Football Federation Australia (FFA) have confirmed.

The FFA had wanted their two representatives to qualify from the current 2006/7 A-League season which finishes in February, a month before the 2007 Asian Champions League gets under way.

However, the Asian Football Confederation's (AFC) Competitions Committee rejected the request on Tuesday, insisting Sydney and Adelaide -- the two top teams from the 2005/6 season -- will be selected for next year's tournament.

'We are obviously disappointed, but we accept and understand the AFC's Competition Committee's decision,' said FFA head of operations Matt Carroll.

'Sydney FC and Adelaide United will now get the support of the FFA and we are hopeful they will achieve success as our representatives in Asia's most prestigious club competition.'

The FFA confirmed the two leading teams from the current season would be eligible for the 2008 Asian Champions League.

It added any prize money won by the two Australian clubs at the 2007 Asian Champions League would be shared among the eight A-League sides.

The 2007 tournament starts on March 7 with the final to be played over two legs on Nov. 7 and Nov. 14.

The AFC allocated two places to Australian clubs for the first time in July after the poor performances of Vietnamese and Thai teams in the tournament.