Women's Football: India winning the race in bid to host 2022 Asian Cup

Japan won the last Asian Cup back in 2018

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) women's committee has recommended that India host the 2022 Asian Cup.

Despite bids from Taiwan and Uzbekistan, the continent's Football Confederation is looking to develop the women's game in the second-most populous country in the world. If held in India, the country would become the first-ever South Asian hosts of the competition.  

The AFC women's committee met in Kuala Lumpur this week to discuss and commit to the growth of the women's game in Asia. It was suggested that India would have a wealth of experience, in comparison to their rival bidders, that will only help maximise the women's game across the continent. 

The Confederation's plan has proposed a 12-team tournament format, which sees four extra teams being added from the 2018 tournament; and there are also plans to increase this number again by 2025 to 16 competing teams. The AFC women's committee has explained their intention to use two of the country's stadiums, including the stadium that will play host to the Women's U17 World Cup Final in November, the D.Y.Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai, and the Trans Stadia Arena.

The AFC has proposed that the Asian Cup will run throughout October and November, finishing before November 21, when the Men's World Cup begins in Qatar. The proposed winter date will disrupt domestic leagues with Asian players being recalled for national team duty.

Mahfuza Akhter Kiron, AFC's women's delegate and chairperson said, "India offers the best opportunities to build the event commercially as well as increasing the value, and India is also committed to developing the women’s game in the country."

"This is the most important and prestigious competition in women's football in Asia. The last edition was a major step forward for the women's game in Asia. It was played in Jordan, the first time a West Asian nation had hosted the event. Now we are looking to build on that legacy."

The 2022 Asian Cup will also act as the Asian qualifying round for the upcoming 2023 Women's World Cup. The host nation for 2023 is expected to be announced this June with inspection visits to member associations currently underway.

CONMEBOL, the South American Confederation, is currently in the running to host, having put Brazil and Colombia forward; the Asian and Oceanic Confederations have teamed together to nominate Australia and New Zealand, and the Asian Confederation has also nominated Japan as a potential solo host country.

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