V-League 1 champions Hanoi FC and runners-up Ho Chi Minh City FC have confirmed their participation in the 2020 ASEAN Club Championship (ACC).
The championship was organized in 2003 and 2005 before being put on hold until the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) decided to revive it next year.
The 2020 ACC finals will feature 12 clubs from AFF member associations in the final round, with Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam allowed to send their league champions and national cup winners to compete.
Myanmar and Singapore will have one club each in the finals of the championship while Brunei, the Philippines, Laos, Cambodia, and Timor-Leste will have their clubs fight for the two remaining spots via the play-off round.
Australian clubs will not be included in this edition of the championship even though Australia is an ASEAN member association.
Each club will be permitted to register four foreign players, including one Asian. Those coming from Southeast Asian countries are considered ‘domestic’ players.
The draw will take place on March 4, 2020 while play-offs are scheduled for April 25, 2020 and May 9, 2020.
The finals will last from May to December 2020, with the 12 clubs divided into two groups and each playing five games.
The top two clubs from each group will advance to the semifinals.
The champions will be rewarded with at least US$400,000 and the runners-up with at least $260,000.
Hanoi FC confirmed on Wednesday that they would compete in the championship. Ho Chi Minh City FC had announced their participation in the 2020 ACC on Tuesday.
The Capital Team won both the 2020 V-League 1 and National Cup so Ho Chi Minh City FC are qualified as the league runners-up, according to regulations.
Ho Chi Minh City FC will thus compete on four fronts next year: V-League 1, National Cup, AFC Champions League Preliminary Round, and ASEAN Club Championship.
They are racing to sign domestic and foreign players to form a 30-member team for the new season.
“We want to achieve good results in both local and continental tournaments,” the club’s leaders said.
“So we have sought quality foreign players for the past time but we have yet to find them.”
The club will organize a grand ceremony to set off their campaign on Le Duan Street in District 1 on December 31 night.