• On its way ... Adelaide is on the verge of getting the green light for another Asian tilt (Getty)
Adelaide United's Asian campaign is still on track after the AFC gave the clearest indication yet that the Reds will be allowed to play in the Champions League.
By
SBS EXCLUSIVE: Philip Micallef

27 Feb 2012 - 4:43 PM  UPDATED 6 Nov 2012 - 2:05 AM

The club's Asian aspirations were thrown into disarray when it
emerged that Brazilian fullback Cassio could have been ineligible to
play in this month's qualifying play-off win over Indonesia's Persipura
Jayapura.

Adelaide won 3-0 at Hindmarsh Stadium to earn the right to play in
Group E of the 2012 competition along with Uzbekistan's Bunyodkor,
Japan's Gamba Osaka and Korea Republic's Pohang Steelers.

The Reds are scheduled to meet Bunyodkor in Tashkent next week.

With the club in limbo and still not knowing if it will be allowed to compete in another Asian campaign, AFC sources told The World Game 'Adelaide should be okay".

AFC is expected to issue a press release this week announcing
Adelaide will join Brisbane Roar and Central Coast Mariners in the blue
riband event of Asian club football.

It is understood the only thing holding this up is the AFC's
disciplinary committee, which has to make sure the governing body is
legally covered in rubber-stamping Adelaide's participation.

Barring a last-minute change of heart from AFC, anxious Adelaide will
be put out of its misery and be able to get on with its plans for Asia.

The AFC Champions League takes on a greater importance after Adelaide's almost certain failure to reach the A-League finals.

The club is still sweating on the AFC outcome and chief executive
Glenn Elliott admitted the club was in the dark as to its prospects of
playing.

"Look, there will be a match in Tashkent next week and we hope that we will be playing in it," Elliott said.

"We're ready and more than happy to play. All we need is clarification."

The problem arose after Cassio was sent off in the last minute of
Adelaide's round of 16 match against Korea Republic's Jeonbuk Motors in
May 2010.

The Reds lost 3-2 and did not play again in the competition until they were asked to face Persipura two weeks ago so the player never served the mandatory suspension.

Adelaide changed management in between the two matches so Cassio's dismissal was overlooked.

It could have been a costly blunder on Adelaide's part but AFC
appears to have decided in favour of Adelaide, possibly for practical
purposes.

Persipura, which is a member of Indonesia's rebel league, was
originally barred from the competition but was reinstated after a Court
of Arbitration for Sport ruled in its favour.

The last thing the AFC now needs is to kick out Adelaide, reinstate
Persipura again and then run the risk of having to ban it for the second
time which would leave Group E with only three teams.