Hosts India Get Drawn with China, Chinese Taipei and Iran for 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup
The Indian women’s football team was drawn with China, Chinese Taipei and Iran in Group A of AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 which was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Thursday.
India are ranked 11th in Asia, with China PR (4th in Asia), Chinese Taipei (8th in Asia), and Iran (14th in Asia). India begin their campaign on 20 January against Iran, followed by games against Chinese Taipei (on 23 January) and China (on 26 January).
“It is an exciting group. We respect all our opponents as all of them are strong teams who have qualified for the AFC Asian Cup India 2022. But we are ready to play any team,” said head coach Thomas Dennerby.
“I don’t consider any particular match as a key one. All three matches are key matches for us in the group stage. We need to do our job over 90 minutes every time we enter the field,” the coach added.
Defending champions Japan have South Korea, Vietnam and Myanmar for company in Group C as Australia, champions in 2010 and runners-up in the last two editions, were drawn in Group B alongside Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia.
AIFF President Mr. Praful Patel said: “The AFC Women’s Asian Cup is the premier flagship tournament for Women’s Football in our Continent, and I’m proud and happy that India is going to be the host for the 2022 edition. I thank the AFC, AIFF and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for jointly working together to bring a fantastic tournament not only for the fans in India, but also for all of the Asian continent.”
“The AFC had recently come and inspected all the facilities in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, and Pune. We are looking forward to January 2022 to welcome all the 12 teams to our beautiful country, and I am confident they will be satisfied with the facilities, and hospitality that we have to offer in India,” he added.
The premier continental tournament will take place between 20 January and 6 February 2022, instead of the originally scheduled dates of late October and early November, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mumbai’s Mumbai Football Arena, Navi Mumbai’s DY Patil Stadium and Pune’s Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex will play hosts to the games.
Asian Football Confederation General Secretary Mr. Dato Windsor John said: “The AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 promises to be another great celebration throughout the Continent. Together with the All India Football Federation and the Local Organising Committee, we are confident of staging a remarkable tournament that will leave a legacy for many years to come. I must congratulate the teams who have qualified and will line up along with the top three teams from the last edition and our hosts India.”
“I wish the LOC and our friends and colleagues at the AIFF the very best in hosting a truly world-class event next year,” Dato Windsor continued. “I must also thank the people behind the scenes, our officials, members of the media, our commercial partners, stakeholders, and of course, Asia’s unwavering fans for your support. To the 12 teams, I wish you all the best.”
The 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup will add further drama and excitement with the leading five teams earning direct tickets to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
The next best two teams from the Playoff matches will also represent Asia at the Inter-Confederation Playoff matches.
The Indian women’s football team is currently camping in Jamshedpur with logistical and infrastructural aid from the Government of Jharkhand since September. In the midst of the camp the team had also gone on an exposure tour to UAE, Bahrain and Sweden, where they played against International teams like UAE, Tunisia, Bahrain and Chinese Taipei. The side has also played two friendlies against Swedish Dammalsvenskan (Tier 1) clubs Hammarby IF and Djurgarden IF.
AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 202 Draw
Group A: India, China PR, Chinese Taipei, Islamic Republic of Iran
Group B: Australia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia
Group C: Japan, Korea Republic, Vietnam, Myanmar
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