A whopping USD 1 million prize purse awaits Indian champion club Bengaluru FC if they manage to beat Air Force Club of Iraq and clinch the AFC Cup in Doha on 5 November. The runners-up side will bag USD 0.5 million.
The decision to increase the prize money for the winners of 2016 AFC Cup from USD 350,000 to USD 1 million was approved by the AFC Executive Committee at its meeting on 27 November in New Delhi.
The runners-up prize money was doubled from USD 250,000 to USD 500,000, while the semi-finalists, who received nothing in 2015, will get USD 40,000. The quarter-finalists and round of 16 clubs get USD 25,000 and USD 15,000 respectively.
Bengaluru FC became the first Indian club to reach the final of the AFC Cup when they beat defending champions Johor Darul Ta'zim FC 4-1 on aggregate in the semi-final (home and away format) last month.
They now seek to become the first Indian football club to clinch a continental title when they lock horns with Air Force Club of Iraq in the summit clash of AFC Cup today.
Before this, the farthest an Indian club had advanced in a continental tournament was the two AFC Cup semifinal appearances by Dempo in 2008 and East Bengal in 2013.