ATK-Mohun Bagan will play their AFC Cup group stage matches in Male, Maldives, with the organizing committee announcing the hosts after an extensive bidding process and discussions with the Participating Member Associations. Bengaluru FC still have an opportunity to qualify for the group stages.
It was by virtue of Mohun Bagan’s I-League triumph and ATK’s Indian Super League that the new entity got booked a berth in the AFC Cup for the upcoming season. After much speculation, the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) has announced the hosts after an extensive bidding process and discussions with the Participating Member Associations.
ATK-Mohun Bagan has been pitted alongside Bashundhara Kings (Bangladesh), Maziya Sports & Recreation (Maldives), and the winner of South Zone Playoffs in Group D of the competition, with all the matches to be played in Male, in the Maldives. There is also a possibility that Bengaluru FC might join the Group as the fourth-placed team.
The matches in Group A from the West Zone, comprising teams like Al Hidd Club (BHR), Al Nasr (OMA), Al Wahda (SYR), and defending champions Al Ahed FC (LBN), will be played in Manama, Bahrain. On the other hand, teams from Group B, featuring teams like comprising Al Ansar FC (LBN), Muharraq Club (BHR), Al Salt (JOR), and Balata Center (PLE) as well as Group C, which consists of Al Faisaly (JOR), Al Seeb Club (OMA), Tishreen (SYR) and the winner of the West Zone Play-off, will play their respective matches at Amman, Jordan.
The host club in Group E will be FC Dordoi (KGZ), with the likes of Ahal FC (TKM) and FC Ravshan (TJK) with Dushanbe, Tajikistan, while Group F, consisting of teams like FC Alay (KGZ), Altyn Asyr FC (TKM), FC Khujand (TJK) and the representative of Uzbekistan, AGMK FC or FC Nasaf, which will be decided after the AFC Champions League 2021 Play-offs, will play their matches in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
Singapore has been granted the hosting rights for the ASEAN Zone – Group H, consisting of teams like Kedah Darul Aman (MAS), Lion City Sailors (SIN), Saigon (VIE) and the ASEAN Zone Play-off 2 winner. Meanwhile, while Group I, comprising of Geylang International FC (SIN), Kaya FC-Iloilo (PHI), Terengganu FC (MAS), and the representative of Myanmar, Shan United FC or Ayeyawady United FC, depending on the results of the AFC Champions League 2021 Preliminary and Play-off Stage matches, will also play their matches in Singapore.
The venue for Group G - also in the ASEAN Zone, will be selected at a later date, with Group J – featuring teams like Athletic 220 FC (MNG), Eastern Long Lions (HKG), Lee Man (HKG) and Tainan City FC (TPE); will play their matches in Hong-Kong.