The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has raised the number of teams for the play-off round of the AFC Champions League from six to 18, and the V-League champion Hanoi T & T has the opportunity to attend the playground where Vietnam had been considered to be substandard, Vietnam Net online newspaper reports.

After surveying football development in the region, AFC has announced rankings for the new season. Accordingly, Vietnam ranks eighth in the combined rankings for East Asia and Southeast Asia with 301.31 points.

In Southeast Asia, Vietnam is behind Thailand (601.2 points) and Singapore (438.34 points). With this position, one club of Vietnam is admitted to the play-off round to compete for a card to the qualifying round of the AFC Champions League.

The Vietnamese representative is the V-League champion - Hanoi T & T. Other competitors are Beijing Guoan (China), Melbourne Victory (Australia), Muangthong United, Chonburi (Thailand), Pune FC (India), Tampines Rovers (Singapore), and South China (Hong Kong).

The teams will be divided into pairs for knockout competition in February 2014 to select two teams for the official qualifier round. In Southeast Asia, only the team that had reached the 2013 AFC Champions League quarter-final - Burinam of Thailand goes straight to the official qualifier round.

In the case that Hanoi T & T failed in the play-off round, it will recede to the AFC Cup, with another team from Vietnam - Ninh Binh FC. If it wins in the play-off, Hanoi T&T’s card at the AFC Cup will be transferred to another Vietnamese team, which is selected by the Vietnam Football Federation, perhaps Da Nang FC – the runner-up of V-League 2013.

The draw for the play-off of AFC Champions League 2014 will be held on December 12.

This is Vietnam’s return to the AFC Champions League after three seasons since V-League did not meet certain requirements set by the AFC.

In the most recent game in AFC Champions League 2010, Da Nang FC was trounced 0-3 by Muangthong United (Thailand) at their home stadium.-VNA