The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced the host venues for the group stage matches of AFC Champions League 2021 on Thursday. FC Goa's home ground in Fatorda will play host to the AFC Champions League Group E matches.
FC Goa entered the AFC Champions League 2020-21 group stage by virtue of winning the league shield at the 2019-20 Indian Super League. The Gaurs are grouped with Persepolis FC (2019-20 Persian Gulf Pro League champions) and Al-Rayyan FC (2019-20 Qatar Stars League third place) in Group E.
The winners of the play-off tie between Al-Wahda (2018-19 UAE Pro League third place) and Al-Zawraa (2018-19 Iraq FA Cup winners) will join Group E as the fourth team. All group E matches will be played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, Goa.
The AFC Champions League 2021 West Zone group stage will kick off on April 14 and conclude on April 30. Each side will play six games in the group stages in centralized venues. The group leaders will then qualify for the knock-outs. The top three runners-up will also join the group leaders in the knock-outs. The East Zone group stage matches will be played in June-July.
AFC Champions League 2020/21 group stage venues
Group A - Saudi Arabia: Al-Hilal (KSA), Shabab Al-Ahli (UAE), Istiklol (TJK), Al-Gharafa (QAT)/AGMK (UZB)
Group B - United Arab Emirates: Sharjah (UAE), Tractor (IRN), Pakhtakor (UZB), Al-Wehda (KSA)/Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya (IRQ)
Group C - Saudi Arabia: Al Duhai (QAT), Al Ahli (KSA), Esteghlan (IRN), Al Shorta (IRQ)
Group D - Saudi Arabia: Al Sadd (QAT), Al Nassr (KSA), Al Wehdat (JOR), Foolad (IRN)/Al Ain (UAE)
Group E - India: Persepolis (IRN), Al Rayyan (QAT), FC Goa (IND), Al Wahda (UAE)/Al Zawraa (IRQ)
Group F - Thailand: Ulsan Hyundai (KOR), Viettel (VIE), Pathum United (THA), Shanghai Port (PRC)/Brisbane Roar (AUS)/Kaya (PHI)
Group G - Thailand: Jiangsu (PRC), Nagoa Gampus (JAP), Johor Darul (MAL), Pohang Steelers (KOR)/Ratchaburi Mitr Phol (THA)
Group H - TBC: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (KOR), Gamba Osaka (JAP), Tampines Rovers (SIN), Sydney FC (AUS)
Group I - TBC: Kawasaki Frontale (JAP), Beijing Guoan (PRC), United City (PHI), Daegu (KOR)/Chaingrai United (THA)
Group J - Thailand: Guangzhou (PRC), Port FC (THA), Kitchee (HK), Cerezo Osaka (JPN)/Melbourne City (AUS)/Shan United (MYA)
Venues of Group H and I are yet to be decided.
49 clubs to play in AFC Champions League 2020-21
AFC Champions League is the premier continental football competition hosted by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The AFC Champions League 2020-21 will witness 49 clubs from 21 member associations participate in the competition.
The qualifying play-offs will start on April 7 while the grand finale will be played over two legs on November 21st and 27th.