Mumbai: AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022, where the continent’s leading national teams will go head-to-head for the coveted trophy, will kick start with the clash between China and Chinese Taipei, and India and Iran here on January 20.
The tournament will be played across three venues – D.Y. Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai, Mumbai Football Arena and Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Pune. The showpiece event will celebrate women’s football across the continent and provide a platform for the current and future stars to shine.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa extended his best wishes to all participating teams and highlighted the importance of the tournament in the development of the sport.
“The AFC Women’s Asian Cup is a competition that is rich in history and continues to be the catalyst for the development of women’s football in Asia,” said Khalifa.
“As outlined in our mission, the AFC strives to ensure that our Asian teams succeed on the world stage and already we are seeing our women footballers impress and enjoy success with their national teams and in club football around the world.
“I must thank all the participating teams, our stakeholders and the Local Organising Committee for sharing the AFC’s ambitions to organise the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 with the health and safety of everyone as our highest priority.
“The attention of the footballing world shifts to India tomorrow, and I wish all teams the very best in the tournament. Your performances on the pitch will be watched by millions worldwide including young girls who will aspire to follow in your footsteps.”
The eight-time champions China will begin proceedings against Chinese Taipei in Group A at the Mumbai Football Arena at 3:30 PM IST with both teams aiming for three points that will set them on course to challenge for one of the five tickets to the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 that will be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
Later on the same day, the host nation and the two-time runner-up, India will test their mettle against newcomers Iran, who made history by qualifying to the finals for the first time ever, at the D.Y. Patil Stadium at 7:30 PM IST.
Fans will enjoy four thrilling matches on day two when the reigning champions Japan begin their title defence against Myanmar at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune at 1:30 PM IST.
At the same venue, Korea, whose best result in the tournament was a third-place finish in 2003, will take on their Vietnamese opponents at 7:30 PM IST.
Over at the Mumbai Football Arena, the 2010 champions and runners-up in the last two editions Australia will face Indonesia, who are making their first appearance in the tournament since 1986, at 5:30 PM IST.
Thailand, only one of five countries to win more than 30 AFC Women’s Asian Cup matches, will go up against the Philippines, who were one victory away from securing qualification to the FIFA Women’s World Cup in the last edition.
The AFC Women’s Asian Cup will boast a stellar field of international icons like Sam Kerr of Australia, who recently finished second in the FIFA Best Awards, Saki Kumagai of Japan, and Ji So-yun of Korea while emerging talents are expected to light up the showpiece.
With thrilling matches set to entertain global television audiences, the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 is poised for another memorable and exciting campaign that will provide a positive and lasting impact on women’s football in Asia.