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Mumbai City FC Drawn in Group B of AFC Champions League With Al Jazira, Al Shabab and Air Force Club

Mumbai City FC are making their AFC Champions League debut this season. (ISL Photo)

Mumbai City FC are making their AFC Champions League debut this season. (ISL Photo)

India's Mumbai City FC placed in Group B of AFC Champions League along with Al Jazira (UAE), Al Shabab (KSA) and Air Force Club (IRQ).

Reigning Indian Super League champions Mumbai City FC have been drawn in a tough group in the AFC Champions League. Along with the Islanders, the group also have three-time UAE Pro League champions Al Jazira, six-time Saudi Premier League champions Al Shabab, and Iraqi giants Air Force.

“We are very excited. As a coach and as players, we always want to compete with the best and participating in the AFC Champions League allows us to do so,” Mumbai City FC head coach Des Buckingham said after the draw.

“Now that we know our opponents, our objective will be to get to the AFC Champions League off the back of a successful Indian Super League. So our focus will be to do well with the task we have at hand right now and when we get to the AFC Champions League, we want to make sure we represent Mumbai well and give a good showing of Indian football on the Asian stage,” he added.

The 2022 AFC Champions League Group Stage draw ceremony took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, virtually. Forty teams were drawn in 10 groups of four teams each at the draws, with five groups (A-E) in the West Region and five groups (F-J) in the East Region.

Mumbai City FC, who qualified for the 2022 AFC Champions League by winning the Indian Super League 2020/21 League Winners’ Shield, will compete in the Asia’s biggest club football competition from the West Region for the first time in the Islanders’ history and will become only the second Indian club to do so.

As per the revised scheduled released by the AFC earlier this week, the 2022 AFC Champions League Group Stages of the West Region will begin from April 7, 2022 to April 27, 2022 with double round-robin matches to be played at one centralised venue, keeping in mind health and safety restrictions.

Confirmed fixture dates and the venue for Mumbai City’s 2022 AFC Champions League Group Stage games will be announced in due course

The 2022 edition of Asia’s flagship club competition will follow the expanded format introduced in last season’s tournament, with both the East and West Regions to feature five groups of four teams, and five group winners and the best three runner-ups from each Region advancing to the Round of 16.

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first published:January 17, 2022, 12:08 IST