Based on the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Club Ranking that was released on December 1, 2017, Malaysia finished 0.266 points above Hong Kong in sixth place. The change in position of the East Region ranking meant that Malaysia received an automatic slot in the 2019 AFC Champions League group stage and a play-off spot.
Johor Darul Ta’zim, who finished as winners of unifi Liga Super Malaysia this season, will advance to the group stages of the competition, making them the first Malaysian team in history to reach that stage.
As winners of Shopee Piala FA Malaysia 2018, Pahang would get a chance to feature in the preliminary round 2 of the tournament. However, The Elephants is prohibited to apply for an AFC Club License for two years after they refused to participate in this season’s edition of the AFC Cup. They can appeal to Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) to remove the ban, but what will happen if it is rejected?
The spot will then go to the runners-up of unifi Liga Super Malaysia 2018.
What if Pahang finishes second in the league?
The third-placed team will then earn the slot (it only drop to half the teams in the league, which is six).
There is only three-point gap between second-placed Perak and sixth-placed PKNS FC, with three matches left this season.