Reigning Indian Super League (ISL) champions Mumbai City FC has been placed in Group B of the 2022 AFC Champions League group stage at the official draw that took place in Kuala Lumpur on Monday. Mumbai City have been drawn alongside Al Jazeera of the UAE, Saudi Arabia’s Al- Shabab and Air Force Club of Iraq. (More Football News)
Mumbai City became only the second Indian club to be competing at Asia’s biggest football competition. They qualified for the 2022 AFC Champions League by winning the ISL 2020-21 League Winners’ Shield and will compete from the west region.
“40 teams were drawn in 10 groups of four teams each at the draws, with five groups (A-E) in the west region and five groups (F-J) in the east region,” a statement issued by the club said. The dates and venues for Mumbai City FC’s fixtures will be announced in due course.
“We are very excited. As a coach and as players, we always want to compete with the best and participating in the AFC Champions League allows us to do so,” Mumbai City FC head coach Des Buckingham said.
#ACL2022 𝗚𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗽 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝗴𝗲 𝗗𝗿𝗮𝘄 🚨#TheIslanders have been drawn into Group B along with Al Jazira 🇦🇪, Al Shabab 🇸🇦 & Air Force Club 🇮🇶 in @TheAFCCL Group Stage ✅— Mumbai City FC (@MumbaiCityFC) January 17, 2022
HISTORY BECKONS! 💙#MumbaiCity #AamchiCity 🔵 pic.twitter.com/4YU5UcJp5x
“Now that we know our opponents, our objective will be to get to the AFC Champions League off the back of a successful ISL. So, our focus will be to do well with the task we have at hand right now and when we get to the AFC Champions League, we want to make sure we represent Mumbai well and give a good showing of Indian football on the Asian stage,” added the Englishman.
Group C is headlined by Foolad Khouzestan from the Islamic Republic of Iran and 2015 finalists Shabab Al Ahli Dubai as well as Qatar’s Al Gharafa and Ahal FC of Turkmenistan.
Sepahan from Iran, who reached the final of the 2007 edition, will take on Al Duhail from Qatar as well as two-time semifinalists Pakhtakor of Uzbekistan and the winners of the playoff between Al Taawon from Saudi Arabia and Syrians Al Jaish in Group D.
Qatar’s Al Sadd, winners of the title back in 2011, face off against Al Faisaly from Saudi Arabia, Jordan’s Al Wehdat and the winners of the playoff featuring Baniyas of the UAE and Nasaf Qarshi in Group E
As per the revised schedule released by the AFC earlier this week, the 2022 AFC Champions League group stages of the west region will begin from April 7 to April 27 with double round-robin matches to be played at one centralised venue, keeping in mind health and safety restrictions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With inputs from the-AFC.com