The fact that AFC Champions League has been divided into West-East Zone is extremely ridiculous if not to say, Hard to understand. There are reasons judging that distance between countries within AFC or high cost travel, But let's face it, This has hampered the development of Asian soccer. For instance, The lack of competition between Western Asian clubs to Eastern Asian clubs from the group stage onward have weakened the opportunity to build a cultural bridge and it also prevents players from each zones to be more competitive in different environments. Moreover, Soccer situation in Asia shows that little competition has also affected the national teams as many Asian teams that have been traditionally strong remain strong while weaker and emerging teams do not have so much chance to emerge because of lacking needed opponents to demonstrate their prowess.
Of course, Neither UEFA Champions League, Or Copa Libertadores, Are perfect, Too. But only AFC put this odd. To make a clear evidence, Look on CAF Champions League in Africa, Despite knowing that North African clubs are typically stronger and culturally different, CAF does not push this silly zone division on like the AFC does, Instead North African teams compete equally with teams from the rest of Africa. UEFA has also never imposed the regional divisions when it comes to club competitions. Thus, While not all clubs can be crowned for the continental title, Respectively, These teams have their chance to improve their performance and to become stronger from seasons to seasons.
AFC's regional divisions have done more harm than good for Asian football as it fails to professionalize Asian soccer. Better get rid of it.