Three Vietnamese football clubs will take part in the AFC Champions League and the AFC Cup 2021, following the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) making changes to the way that teams qualify for continental competitions.
The changes will see a total of 54 teams participate in the AFC Champions League, of which 32 sides will go straight into the group stage, while the remaining 22 teams will compete in a play-off for the right to progress.
For Vietnam, V.League 1 winners will automatically qualify for the group stage of the AFC Champions League.
These changes will come into effect for the next version of the AFC Champions League, which is scheduled to take place from February 8 to November 27, 2021.
Furthermore, the AFC Cup will see 10 teams automatically qualify for the group stage from the Southeast Asian region, in addition to six teams competing in the play-offs.
Vietnam, Malaysia, and Singapore will each have two representatives who will go straight into the group stage.
The Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) will therefore select teams to compete in the AFC Cup based on their performance in the National Cup. Hanoi FC, who beat Viettel FC to win National Cup on September 20, have therefore earned a ticket to enter the next version of the AFC Cup.
In the event that Hanoi FC win the V.League 1, they will instead compete in the AFC Champions League. This will result in the second and third placed teams in the V.League 1 being given the chance to compete in the AFC Cup. If Hanoi finish second in the V.League 1, they will compete in the AFC Cup alongside the third placed team.
The next iteration of the AFC Cup is scheduled be held from February 8 to November 6, 2021.