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Asian Champions League qualification will not change

Qualification for A-League clubs into the Asian Champions League will not change according to an FFA spokesperson.

The two Grand Finalists are the teams that qualify to compete in Asia but this season neither team from 2007/2008 have finished in the top two.

Reigning premiers the Newcastle Jets will end this season as wooden spooners whilst runners-up Central Coast Mariners currently sit in fourth position.

"The cut-off date for the ACL came before our season was over so in practical terms the agreement was with the A-League clubs that the previous season's champions and premiers would be the ones who would be put forward for the Asian Champions League," the spokeswoman said.

"They (the Asian Football Confederation) have a tournament to plan and need to get all of that into operation as well.

"You can't just have a tournament and say you've got to go somewhere in Australia at a certain time, there has to be certainty about it.

"In an ideal world we would hope that both our representatives in the Asian Champions League were performing at a high level and I guess it's a measure of the value of the Hyundai A-League to see how both those teams go," she added.

"I think Adelaide have set a very high benchmark but a benchmark to which every A-League club is aspiring and if Adelaide can do it I should imagine every club can think they can do it as well.

"Central Coast and Newcastle have nothing but the best wishes of the whole football fraternity with them in the 2009 Champions League competition."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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