Tough sanctions for tournament pull-out, says AFC
The Asian Football Council (AFC) has threatened tough sanctions against any club that pulls out of the Asian Champions League in mid-competition this year.
UAE side Sharjah withdrew after four matches last year to concentrate on avoiding relegation from the country's top flight.
"Clubs could be disqualified from taking part in the next two editions of the competition from which it withdrew and of all other AFC competitions it may qualify to play," the AFC said during a presentation on tournament regulations to clubs on Monday.
"It may also affect the number of slots awarded to the member association given by the AFC competitions committee.
"In addition, the errant club would be liable for compensation, to AFC and to sponsors who are affected by their withdrawal. Further financial punishment may come from the AFC disciplinary committee."