The Asian Football Confederation will kick Singapore clubs out of future Asian Champions League competitions unless attendances dramatically increase in their domestic league.

Under the AFC’s new entry criteria, only teams from leagues with average attendances of over 5,000 per match will be allowed to participate in the Asia’s biggest club competition from 2012. Participating leagues must also have a system of promotion and relegation.

The 12-club S.League currently fulfils neither of these criteria.

But league chiefs say they are confident of boosting attendances to reach the target – even though they are getting average crowds below 2,000 this year.

“We’ve met the majority of the list of criteria set by AFC and we are confident of meeting most, if not all, of the latest list of criteria,” a spokesman for the Football Association of Singapore told Reuters.

“Singapore football and the S.League is constantly improving on and off the pitch in terms of the business models, management, marketing and technical standards among other areas.”

S.League champions Singapore Armed Forces must get through two qualifying rounds to reach the group stages of the ACL next year.

Last month, South Korea’s Pohang Steelers beat Saudi Arabia’s Al Ittihad 2-1 in the AFC Champions League final in Tokyo.