January 28 – The premium women’s national team competition in Asia, the AFC Women’s Asian Cup to be played in India in 2022 will be held January 20 to February 6.
The India 2022 edition follows on from the breakthrough 2018 event held in Jordan, the first time the competition had been played in the AFC’s West Zone. The competition will be expanded to 12 teams (from eight in Jordan) comprising three groups of four, with a minimum of 25 matches played over 18 days. Eight teams will qualify for the newly introduced Quarter-finals.
AFC General Secretary Dato’ Windsor John said: “Women’s football in Asia is world class and with the next FIFA Women’s World Cup to be staged in Australia and New Zealand, there has never been a more exciting time for women’s football in the Continent.”
India 2022 will act as the AFC’s qualifier for the 2023 World Cup where the confederation has five slots in a tournament that will be expanded to 32 teams.
“India has seen incredible growth in recent years, in both the men’s and women’s game and we are confident that the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 will present another historic step in the incredible journey of Indian football – one that will strengthen the passion for the game and leave a lasting impact for future generations of women footballers and passionate fans,” said John.
India has pre-qualified as hosts for 2022, alongside the three highest-ranked sides from the last AFC Women’s Asian Cup – Japan, Australia and China PR. Qualifiers for the remaining eight slots will take place from September 13 to 25, 2021 in a yet to be specified centralised venue.
India is increasingly putting itself forward as a host for major regional and global competitions – it has submitted a hosting bid for the AFC’s blue riband men’s Asian Cup in 2027 (2023 will be hosted in China). All India Football Federation President Praful Patel said: “The AFC Women’s Asian Cup will not only kick-start 2022 but will be a momentous year for women’s football in India with two big events. We have seen the incremental growth and rise in popularity of women’s football with the hosting of international tournaments, and 2022 will be an important step in this journey.”
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