|Number of teams||36 (group stage)|
|Qualifier for||AFC Champions League|
|Related competitions||AFC Champions League|
|Current champions||Al-Ahed (1st title)|
|Most successful club(s)|| Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya |
(3 titles each)
|2021 AFC Cup|
The AFC Cup is an annual continental club football competition organised by the AFC. Under its current rules, the competition is played primarily between clubs from nations that did not receive direct qualifying slots in the top-tier AFC Champions League, based on the AFC Club Competitions Ranking.
Al-Kuwait SC and Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya are the most successful club in the competition's history, having won three titles each. Clubs from Kuwait have won four titles, making them the most successful nation in the competition. Ever since the inauguration of the competition in 2004, the finalists of each edition have been dominated by clubs from West Asia until 2015 when the Malaysian team Johor Darul Ta'zim from East Asia became one of the finalists and became champions. Al-Ahed are the current champions after defeating April 25 Sports Club in the 2019 final.
The AFC Cup began in 2004 as a second-tier competition to relate back to the AFC Champions League as 14 countries that had developing status competed in the first competition with 18 teams being nominated. Group A, B, C had West and Central Asian teams while the other two groups had east and South East Asia. The winners and three runners-up would then head to the knock-out stage where it was a random draw in who was going to play. Al-Jaish took the first AFC Cup after they defeated fellow Syrian opponents Al-Wahda on away goals.
In 2005, 18 teams competed from nine nations with the nations still being allowed to choose from one or two teams entering. After Syrian teams left the AFC Cup to try at the Champions League for four years, Al-Faisaly defeated Nejmeh in the final. With it, Jordanian teams would win the next two AFC Cup seasons with Bahrain joining the league while Bangladesh was relegated to the AFC President's Cup until the tournament's abolition in 2014.
Al-Muharraq would break the trend in 2008 as they competed in the last two-legged final before it headed back into a one-leg system which still runs to this day.
Some changes were applied in terms of teams and format for the 2017 AFC Cup. A total of 36 teams participate in the group stage (12 each from West Asia and ASEAN, and 4 each from East Asia, Central Asia, and South Asia). The final will be played as a one-off match.
Teams from 27 AFC countries have reached the group stage of the AFC Cup. The allocation of those teams by member country is listed below; asterisks represent occasions where at least one team was eliminated in qualification for the group stage. 34 AFC countries have had teams participate in qualification (including Brunei and Timor-Leste who will make their debuts in 2020), those who have not reached the group stage but have only played in qualification are not bolded.
The prize money for the 2020 AFC Cup:
|Phase||Purse (USD)||Travel subsidy |
|Knockout stage||Zonal champions: $100,000||$40,000|
|Final||Champions: $1.5 million |
Like the AFC Champions League, the AFC Cup is sponsored by a group of multinational corporations, in contrast to the single main sponsor typically found in national top-flight leagues.
The tournament's current main sponsors are:
|Year||Nation||Home team||Score||Away team||Nation||Venue||Attendance|
|2004||Syria||Al-Wahda||2–3||Al-Jaish||Syria||Abbasiyyin Stadium, Damascus|
|Syria||Al-Jaish||0–1||Al-Wahda||Syria||Abbasiyyin Stadium, Damascus|
|Aggregate 3–3, Al-Jaish won on away goals|
|2005||Jordan||Al-Faisaly||1–0||Nejmeh||Lebanon||Amman International Stadium, Amman|
|Lebanon||Nejmeh||2–3||Al-Faisaly||Jordan||Rafic El-Hariri Stadium, Beirut|
|Al-Faisaly won 4–2 on aggregate|
|2006||Jordan||Al-Faisaly||3–0||Al-Muharraq||Bahrain||Amman International Stadium, Amman||7,000|
|Bahrain||Al-Muharraq||4–2||Al-Faisaly||Jordan||Bahrain National Stadium, Riffa||3,000|
|Al-Faisaly won 5–4 on aggregate|
|2007||Jordan||Al-Faisaly||0–1||Shabab Al-Ordon||Jordan||Amman International Stadium, Amman||5,500|
|Jordan||Shabab Al-Ordon||1–1||Al-Faisaly||Jordan||Amman International Stadium, Amman||7,500|
|Shabab Al-Ordon won 2–1 on aggregate|
|2008||Bahrain||Al-Muharraq||5–1||Safa||Lebanon||Bahrain National Stadium, Riffa||6,000|
|Lebanon||Safa||4–5||Al-Muharraq||Bahrain||Sports City Stadium, Beirut||2,000|
|Al-Muharraq won 10–5 on aggregate|
|2009||Kuwait||Al-Kuwait||2–1||Al-Karamah||Syria||Al Kuwait Sports Club Stadium, Kuwait City||17,400|
|2010||Syria||Al-Ittihad||1–1 ( a.e.t. )|
(4–2 p )
|Al-Qadsia||Kuwait||Jaber International Stadium, Kuwait City||58,604|
|2011||Uzbekistan||FC Nasaf||2–1||Al-Kuwait||Kuwait||Markaziy Stadium, Qarshi||15,753|
|2012||Kuwait||Al-Kuwait||4–0||Erbil||Iraq||Franso Hariri Stadium, Erbil||30,000|
|2013||Kuwait||Al-Kuwait||2–0||Al-Qadsia||Kuwait||Al-Sadaqua Walsalam Stadium, Kuwait City||10,000|
|2014||Kuwait||Al-Qadsia||0–0 ( a.e.t. )|
(4–2 p )
|Erbil||Iraq||Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium, Dubai||5,240|
|2015||Malaysia||Johor Darul Ta'zim||1–0||Istiklol||Tajikistan||Pamir Stadium, Dushanbe||18,000|
|2016||Iraq||Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya||1–0||Bengaluru||India||Suheim Bin Hamad Stadium, Doha||5,806|
|2017||Iraq||Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya||1–0||Istiklol||Tajikistan||Hisor Central Stadium, Hisor||20,000|
|2018||Iraq||Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya||2–0||Altyn Asyr||Turkmenistan||Basra International Stadium, Basra||24,665|
|2019||Lebanon||Al-Ahed||1–0||April 25||North Korea||Kuala Lumpur Stadium, Kuala Lumpur||500|
|2020||Cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic in Asia|
|Club||Winners||Runners-up||Years won||Years runners-up|
|Al-Kuwait||3||1||2009, 2012, 2013||2011|
|Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya||3||0||2016, 2017, 2018|
|Johor Darul Ta'zim||1||0||2015|
|2004||Indra Sahdan Daud||Home United||7|
|Egmar Goncalves||Home United|
|2007||Odai Al Saify||Shabab Al-Ordun||5|
|Jehad Al Hussain||Al-Kuwait|
|Huỳnh Kesley Alves||Bình Dương|
|2011||Ivan Bošković||Nasaf Qarshi||10|
|2015||Daniel McBreen||South China||8|
|Riste Naumov||Ayeyawady United|
|2016||Hammadi Ahmed||Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya||16|
|2017||Kim Yu-song||April 25||9|
|2018||An Il-bom||April 25||12|
|2007||Shabab Al-Ordon||Nizar Mahrous|
|2011||Nasaf Qarshi||Anatoliy Demyanenko|
|2015||Johor Darul Ta'zim||Mario Gomez|
|2016||Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya||Basim Qasim|
|2017||Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya||Hussam Al Sayed|
|2018||Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya||Basim Qasim|
|3||Aleksandar Đurić||Geylang United, Singapore Armed Forces, Tampines Rovers|
|Amjad Radhi||Erbil SC, Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya|
|5||Bader Al-Mutawa||Qadsia SC|
|Rico||Al-Muharraq, Al-Riffa, Al-Hidd|
|7||Ali Ashfaq||Club Valencia, New Radiant, VB Sports Club|
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