KAYA FC-Iloilo could gain one free pass in its bid to reach the AFC Champions League after three Australia teams including the Brisbane Roar withdrew from the competition.
Kaya was supposed to face Brisbane in the preliminary round of the qualifying playoffs of the AFC Champions League on June 20 before the announcement that the Roar as well as Sydney FC and Melbourne FC have pulled out of the competition.
The AFC didn’t cite the reason for the pullout or the implications on the competition including its qualifying playoff match against Kaya FC.
“The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has taken note of Football Australia’s confirmation of the withdrawals of Sydney FC, Melbourne City FC and Brisbane Roar from the Group, Playoff and Preliminary stages of the 2021 AFC Champions League respectively,” said the AFC in a statement.
“The matter will now be referred to the relevant AFC Committees, with a decision to be communicated in due course,” the statement added.
The winner of the Kaya FC-Brisbane Roar showdown was supposed to advance to the playoff round against Shanghai Port for a place in the group stage of the AFC Champions League.
Melbourne City was scheduled to take on Cerezo Osaka in the playoff round, while Sydney FC is in Group H of the main competition.
Kaya FC-Iloilo gained a seat in the qualifying playoffs of the AFC Champions League after its second-place finish in last season’s Philippines Football League. It is looking to join United City FC in the group stage of Asia’s premier club competition this year.