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All you need to know about AFC Cup 2021, Live Streaming, Prize Money

All you need to know about AFC Cup 2021, Live Streaming, Prize Money
All you need to know about AFC Cup 2021, Live Streaming, Prize Money

The AFC Cup 2021 South Asia Zone is finally happening after a lot of hurdles due to COVID-19 pandemic. The South Asia Zone consists of only one group that is Group D.

Originally the AFC Cup 2021 South Asia Zone's group matches were scheduled to be played from 14th May in Maldives, however, rising number of COVID-19 cases and reportedly Bengaluru FC players breaching the COVID bubble led to a further postponement.

The Group D's matches were again scheduled for June end to August start, however, with no countries were ready to host the games, there was a moment when the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) was thinking about cancelling the Group's matches, however, Maldives FA again submitted a bid on the last day of submitting bids for hosting rights.

As a result of that, the Group D matches has been rescheduled again to August 18th till 24th of August.

The South Asia Zone's matches began with a qualifying match between Bengaluru FC from India and Club Eagles from host nation Maldives. India's Bengaluru FC walked out as the winner with the sole goal from Jayesh Rane. They will now join ATK Mohun Bagan (India), Bashundhara Kings (Bangladesh) and Maziya S&RC from host nation Maldives.

Heading into the matchdays, there is no clear favorite to win the group. ATK Mohun Bagan haven't played any matches after they lost the Indian Super League 2020-2021 final to Mumbai City FC in March, while Bengaluru FC now have played 2 playoff matches, one again Tribhuvan Army FC in April and now against Club Eagles on 15th August.

Bangladesh's Bashundhara Kings are still into playing football as Bangladesh's domestic league Bangladesh Premier League is still on and they are coming into the tournament with more match sharpness. The 4th team Maziya S&RC played their last league match on 2nd of May and were training in Saudi Arabia where they played quite a few friendly matches.

Who won the last AFC Cup season ?

Lebanon's Al Ahed club is the defending champion of the competition having won the AFC Cup in 2019, while the 2020 AFC Cup was cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Where will AFC Cup 2021 be played ?

The 2021 edition of the AFC Cup will be played in a centralized venue in Maldives' Male. All the matches will be played in Male's Rasmee Dhandu Stadium.

AFC Cup 2021 Format

The AFC Cup 2021 will be played on a different format this year than its original format. The Group D matches will be played in a centralized venue in single-leg format meaning that each team will play 3 matches in the Group stage. The team that finishes at the top of the group will qualify for the next round and will face the winner of the Central Zone final in the Inter-Zone semi-final.

How to watch AFC Cup 2021 in India ?

Indian football fans can watch the AFC Cup 2021 Group D matches live on Star Sports Network and can steam on their mobile through the Hotstar app and Jio TV. However, Star Sports will only broadcast the Indian teams' matches.

AFC Cup Prize Money

The prize was last updated from 2018 season, thus the winner of the AFC Cup 2021 will receive a sum of US $1.5 million, and runners-up will receive US $750,000, that is more than 11 crore and 5 crore respectively in Indian rupees. While each zone winner also receives US $100,000, that is about 75 lakh in Indian currency.

Along with that, the AFC Cup 2021 winner will also be eligible to participate in the 2022 AFC Champions League qualifying rounds if the club hasn't qualified through their domestic league.

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