Doha: QNB Stars League 2017 champions Al Duhail, runners-up Al Sadd and third-placed Al Rayyan await their fate as the AFC Champions League draw for next year’s tournament takes place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Wednesday.
Al Gharafa also can feature in the continental event if they win their play-off match against Uzbek side Pakhtakor. Gharafa managed only a fifth-place finish in the QSL last season, but that proved to be enough for a play-off spot as El Jaish, who finish fourth were disbanded.
Ismail Ahmed and Mohammed Bashir will represent Al Duhail at the draw, while Mohammed Gholam, Ahmad Al Ansari and Abdullah Al Berik comprise the Al Sadd delegation.
Mathker Al Shafi will represent Al Rayyan. Al Gharafa’s representatives are Saad Al Shammari and Taha Al Muhaiza.
The 32 teams will be drawn into eight groups of four sides — four groups each in the West Region (Groups A-D) and East Region (Groups E-H). Teams from the same association cannot be drawn into one group.
The group stage will be played on a home-and-away round-robin basis. The winners and runners-up of each group advance to the knockout stage.
Al Duhail, who were one of the most impressive teams in the group stage last season before going down to Persepolis in the last 16 would especially be keen to make amends this time.