Four South Korean teams will start their campaigns at Asia’s premier club competition this week, looking to sustain the country’s recent dominance at the annual tournament.
FC Seoul, the defending champion of the first-division K League Classic, will headline the Korean contingent at the Asian Football Confederation Champions League.
The AFC awards Champions League spots to the top three K League Classic clubs from the previous season and to the FA Cup winner. FC Seoul, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and Pohang Steelers ranked first to third in 2012. Pohang also won the FA Cup, resulting in the fourth AFC berth going to Suwon Samsung Bluewings, which ranked fourth in the regular season.
Ulsan Hyundai Tigers, the 2012 AFC champions, will not get a chance to defend their title. They finished in fifth in the K League Classic, five points behind Suwon.
For the K League Classic clubs, the AFC Champions League will begin even before the start of their domestic league season this weekend. (Yonhap News)