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ISL 2023-24 Teams qualified for continental competitions

Indian clubs face a revamped continental stage with the AFC Champions League restructure. Mohun Bagan enters AFC Champions League 2 group stage, while East Bengal and Mumbai City FC battle in qualifiers and SAFF Championship.

Moinak Banerjee
Last updated: 20.04.2024
ISL 2023-24 Teams qualified for continental competitions

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With the conclusion of the ISL 2023/24 league stage, the teams are confirmed to compete at the continental level in the new season. ISL Shield winners Mohun Bagan Super Giant, runners-up Mumbai City FC, third-place FC Goa and Super Cup champions East Bengal are the four sides who will represent India at the Asian Stage. The 2024/25 campaign will also bring something new to the table for these sides after the Asian Football Confederation or the AFC announced a restructuring of their club competitions.

A new three-tier system has been adopted with the AFC Cup remodeled as AFC Champions League 2 and a new tournament known as the AFC Challenge League has been adopted to run alongside the existing AFC Champions League. Additionally, SAFF or the South Asian Football Federation has created a new competition to bring a new dimension to club football in the region. The changes will bring new and unique challenges for Indian clubs at the continental stage.     


Here are the ISL teams qualified for continental competitions:  

AFC Champions League 2

Indian clubs have lost the sole spot, given to ISL Shield winners, to play in the top-tier AFC competition due to the new coefficient rankings. As a result, Mumbai City FC became the last team to play in the AFC Champions League. From now on, the Shield winners will get to play in the group stage of the second-string competition AFC Champions League 2 which takes the place of the AFC Cup. Meanwhile, the Super Cup winners make it into the qualifiers for the competition.

Mohun Bagan Super Giant

After waiting for three seasons, Mohun Bagan Super Giant finally crowned themselves the ISL Shield after beating Mumbai City in the deciding final league match. As a result, they became the first club to book a place in the group stage of the inaugural AFC Champions League 2 competition. The Mariners have been slotted in the West Region along with sides from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran, Syria, Uzbekistan, etc.        


East Bengal FC

Despite not making it into the ISL playoffs, East Bengal has the Super Cup triumph to savour which gives them the ticket for continental football. It was their first national title in 12 years.

Set to play in any AFC competition for the first time since 2012, the Red and Gold will begin in the qualifying play-off West Region of the AFC Champions League 2. Failing to reach the group stage of the competition will see them demoted to the AFC Challenge League.              

SAFF Club Championship 2024

The inaugural SAFF Club Championship will also be hosted this year with this being the first pan-South Asian club competition ever organized by the SAFF. It will be a knockout tournament played on a home-and-away basis with a total of eight clubs participating in it. India being the highest-ranked nation in South Asia will have two representatives. The top two sides of the ISL which have not qualified for the AFC Champions League 2 or AFC Challenge League will play in the SAFF Club Championship.       

Mumbai City FC

Mumbai City FC failed to defend their Shield honour and finished runners-up after the showdown in a full-house Salt Lake Stadium. However, the Islanders secured their place in the SAFF Club Championship with the wish to receive a continental medal after several domestic successes in past years.      

FC Goa

Even after missing out on the Shield race having started the 2023/24 season on an unbeaten note, FC Goa still managed to finish third on the ISL table. By so, they managed to book the final slot available for the SAFF Club Championship ahead of the likes of Odisha FC and Kerala Blasters.

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