Australian clubs to share Champions League prizes

The Asian Football Confederation's Competitions Committee has rejected the appeal from Football Federation of Australia to amend the AFC Champions League rules regarding the eligibility and participation of clubs. FFA had requested that it be allowed to nominate two teams after the conclusion of the current league championship, the Hyundai A-League, which concludes in February 2007, instead of last season's top teams Sydney FC and Adelaide United FC who are eligible under the current competition rules to play in the 2007 edition of the continental club competition.

The regulations will not be amended prior to the 2009 edition of the AFC Champions League which will mark the commencement of a new four-year development cycle for AFC, and the re-formatting and improvement of the AFC Champions League competition.

"We are obviously disappointed, but we accept and understand the AFC's Competition Committees decision," said FFA Head of Operations Matt Carroll. "It was the FFA's initial understanding that it would be this season's (2006/07) Premier and Champion who would be entered into the AFC Champions League which has always been our preference ...

"As the AFC Champions League is not a competition run by the FFA we have not been able to change the regulations in this instance, but we will continue to lobby the competitions committee in the hope that the rules will be adjusted in time for the 2009 AFC Champions League. We look forward to working with the AFC for the ongoing improvement and advancement of the AFC Champions League competition," concluded Carroll.

The FFA also confirmed that any prize money won by the two Australian clubs would be split amongst all eight clubs of the Hyundai A-League.