DILI (30 Sept 2019) – The AFC Women’s Football Committee has agreed on the establishment of a FIFA/AFC Pilot Women’s Club Championship.
The Committee meeting was chaired by Mahfuza Ahkter Kiron.
Following their 2018 recommendation of the establishment of an AFC women’s club competition, the Committee agreed on a series of competition regulations, with the pilot edition, set to involve the champion clubs from four Member Associations – Australia, China PR, Japan and Korea Republic – to be staged on a round-robin basis from 26-30 November, 2019.
The agreement follows a process involving the input of both the AFC Technical Division and AFC Competitions Department, with the AFC Women’s Club Championship considered a vital step forward in women’s club football throughout the continent.
The Committee also approved a proposal to change the name and dates of the continent’s major women’s youth competitions – the AFC U19 Women’s Championship and AFC U16 Women’s Championship.
Following the Committee’s agreement, the competitions will now be known, respectively, as the AFC U20 Women’s Championship and AFC U17 Women’s Championship, with Finals of each edition to be staged for the first time in 2022.
The Committee’s approval meant that the continent’s major women’s youth competitions will now be staged in the same year as the FIFA U20 and U17 Women’s World Cups, with the new arrangement to provide a more beneficial timeline and technical preparation for Asian teams to prepare for the relevant FIFA competitions.
The move is consistent with a similar calendar shift for future men’s youth tournaments, avoiding a clash between the Finals of AFC men’s and women’s youth competitions.
The proposed dates for the AFC U20 Women’s Championship 2022 Qualifiers Round 1 are from 6-14 March 2021, with Qualifiers Round 2 proposed for 18-22 August 2021 and the Finals recommended for 7-20 February 2022.
The proposed dates for the AFC U17 Women’s Championship 2022 Qualifiers Round 1 are 3-11 April 2021, with the Qualifiers Round 2 scheduled for 22-26 September, 2021 and the Finals to be staged from 4-17 April 2022.