February 16 – The Chinese Football Association (CFA) have demanded top flight men’s clubs establish a women’s team as part of license requirements to compete in the 2023 season.
It’s not the first time the CFA has taken this step. In 2019, the governing body imposed a similar rule.
“This women’s team should take part in the Chinese Women’s Super League or the second and third-tier league,” Xinhua news agency reported, citing a notice from the CFA.
Last year, Wuhan Three Towns won the Chinese Super League for the first time. The obligation to feature a women’s team however could be a burden for CSL clubs after a downturn in Chinese football linked to the Covid-19 restrictions and economic stagnation impacting club owners.
The CFA said that all matches in the league will be played using the home-and-away format this season, bringing an end to three seasons of COVID-19 restrictions.
China has a strong tradition of women’s football and are currently ranked 14th in the world.
They are the current AFC Women’s Asian Cup Champions having beaten Japan in the semi-finals on penalties and South Korea in the final last June. They have won the AFC title nine times since 1986 and featured in 10 of the 15 finals – they were semi-finalists on the other occasions.
The Chinese will again participate in the Women’s World Cup later this year in Australia and New Zealand where they have been drawn alongside European champions England, Denmark and one of the winners of the intercontinental play-offs.
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