The marquee women’s football event will start on January 20, 2022, and will finish on February 6, 2022.
The tournament has also been expanded to feature 12 of the best teams on the continent. It must be noted that the previous edition of the Women’s Asian Cup, which was held in Jordan, had featured only eight teams.
The 12 teams will be divided into three groups of four and eight teams will qualify to the quarter-finals, including two third-placed teams. A total of 25 matches will be played across 18 days during the tournament.
The 2022 Women’s Asian Cup will also serve as a qualification tournament for the 2023 Women’s World Cup which will be held in Australia (affiliated to the AFC) and New Zealand (affiliated to the OFC).
The best four teams from the 2022 Women’s Asian Cup, along with Australia, will take part in the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) 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.
“With the tournament expanded to 12 teams for this edition, fans will have the chance to see the best women footballers from around the Continent in India. Our preparations as hosts are on track, and we’re confident of delivering a world-class tournament for teams and fans.”
AFC General Secretary Dato’ Windsor John was also effusive in his praise for women’s football and India as a footballing nation.
“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 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,” he added.
India, as hosts, have already qualified for the 2022 Women’s Asian Cup along with Japan, Australia an China who were the best three teams from the 2018 edition. The qualifiers to determine the remaining eight spots will be held at a centralised venue from September 13 to 25, 2021.
More to follow..