FFA Cup revamp offers Asian Champions League spot to all Australian football clubs

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Next year's FFA Cup winner will receive a preliminary round spot in the Asian Champions League as part of several changes to Australia's national cup competition.

The change offers further incentive to win the FFA Cup and means clubs from any level of Australian football could potentially compete in Asia, provided they meet AFC club licensing regulations.

Currently, the A-League premiers receive a group stage spot in the ACL, with qualifying playoff spots handed to the team that finishes second on the table and either the third-placed team or the Grand Final winner.

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The A-League premiers will still qualify directly for the ACL group stage but whether the FFA Cup winners will take the preliminary round spot currently awarded to the second-place finishers or that of the third-place finisher/A-League Grand Final winner remains undecided.

Among other changes announced on Tuesday, the FFA confirmed the FFA Cup Final from next year will be played at a neutral venue, while both the final and semifinals will take place on stand-alone weekends.

From the round of 32 -- the point where A-League clubs enter the competition -- there will be an open draw for the first time, though clubs will be divided into four geographic zones.

The number of final-round slots for both A-League clubs (10) and member federations (22) remains unchanged, meaning the bottom four 2020-21 A-League clubs will have to play off for two spots in the FFA Cup round of 32.

Wollongong Wolves (2019 NPL champions) will be granted entry into the 2021 round of 32 as the 2020 FFA Cup was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FFA will also consult with "Australia's football community" about renaming the FFA Cup as part of the organisation's name change to Football Australia.