Machhindra Club to host Sri Lanka’s Blue StarMachhindra will host Blue Star on April 5 in the single header preliminary Round 1.
Machhindra Club, the leaders of the Martyrs Memorial 'A' Division League, have been drawn to play against Sri Lankan Premier League champions Blue Star Sports Club in the first preliminary qualifier match of the 2022 AFC Cup.
Machhindra got the opportunity to represent Nepal in the Cup, the second tier club football competition of Asia organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), as the leaders of top tier league of the country at the completion of seventh round.
ANFA decided to send Machhindra instead of the league champions as per standard practice due to their unmanaged calendar as the league is still running.
Machhindra will host Blue Star on April 5 in the single header preliminary Round 1. The winners between them will visit India's ISL side ATK Mohun Bagan FC on April 12 in Round 2. The winners of Round 2 will play in playoffs against the winner of the other qualifier game on April 19 for a place in the group stage of the tournament.
The winners of the playoffs will join I-League side Gokulam Kerala, Bangladesh's Bashundhara Kings and Maldives Maziya in Group 'D' of the tournament proper.
Machhindra, the champions of the last edition, should have represented Nepal in the AFC Cup last year. But they were deprived of participation after they failed to acquire AFC Club Licence, a mandatory requirement to compete in the event. Instead of Machhindra, the runners-up Tribhuvan Army Club played in the tournament.
It will be the first participation of Machhindra in the official tournament of AFC.