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Ho Chi Minh City: The AFC Futsal and Beach Soccer Committee has decided that the AFC Futsal Club Championship will continue to be an annual affair and also increased the number of teams in this competition from eight to 12 from next year.

The committee, which met under the chairmanship of China’s Zhang Jilong, who is also the AFC Vice-President, confirmed the ten participating teams for the inaugural edition of the AFC Women’s Futsal Championship starting next year and also launched the logo of this competition.

At the outset, Jilong thanked the Vietnam Football Federation for the successful hosting the AFC Futsal Championship and wished both the finalists Iran and Japan luck.

He said that AFC is adding a new chapter in its history by joining hands with Beach Soccer Worldwide and hoped that their expertise will help AFC Member Associations develop beach soccer in their respective countries.

Explaining the allocation process, AFC General Secretary Dato’ Alex Soosay said that apart from a club from the winning country of this year’s AFC Club Futsal Championship and the hosts, champion clubs from top six countries in the AFC Futsal Championship 2014 will be given direct entry into the AFC Futsal Club Championship 2015. The remaining four slots will depend on the assessment of the aspiring countries by AFC. The assessment visits will take place this year.

The AFC Futsal Club Championship 2014 will be held in Chengdu, China, from August 25 to 30. The draw for this competition will be held in Chengdu on May 23.

Apart from hosts China and defending champions Thailand, teams from Iran, Japan, Uzbekistan, Kuwait, Australia and Lebanon will compete in this championship.

The ten teams, which will compete in the next year’s AFC Women’s Futsal Championship are: China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Jordan, Malaysia, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. The teams have been selected based on their performances in the 2009 and 2013 Asian Indoor Games, said Dato’ Alex.

It was also decided to merge the AFC Beach Soccer Championship with FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Asian qualifiers to be held in Doha, Qatar, from October 6 to 11 this year.

All the decisions of this committee need to be ratified by the AFC Executive Committee to take effect.

Click here to watch the AFC Women’s Futsal Championship logo launch video.

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