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The Philippines was given a slot to play in the prelimary/playoff stage of the 2017 AFC Champions League, marking the first time that the country will field a team in Asia’s biggest club football competition.
This was announced late Friday by the Philippine Football Federation, adding that the slot will be given to Global FC as a reward for capturing the United Football League title last October.
Global will have to win three straight games to secure a spot in the group stage of the Champions League. Pulling such feat, however, won’t be easy.
The club host the playoff round on Jan. 24 against Singaporean league runner-up Tampines Rovers. Should Global win, it will advance in the first preliminary round against Australian club Brisbane Roar on Jan. 31 in Australia.
And if Global finds a way to beat Brisbane, it will take on Chinese Super League fourth placer Shanghai Shenhua on Feb. 7 in China.
Global will be relegated to the group stage of the AFC Cup, the region’s second-tier club tournament, if it fails to make the main competition of the Champions League.
Two slots are alloted for the Philippines in the AFC Cup, one given to Ceres-Negros (formerly Ceres-La Salle) for placing second in the UFL.
If Global makes the Champions League group stage, the Loyola Meralco Sparks, third-placers in the UFL league, will be nominated for the other AFC Cup berth.