Printer Friendly and PDF

Chonburi: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Football Committee met on Friday in Chonburi, Thailand, to coincide with the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship currently taking place in the country.

Key strategic decisions were made regarding the dates of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup Jordan 2018, as well as a revised qualification format for the AFC U-19 and U-16 Women’s Championships.

The Committee agreed that the opening match for next year’s AFC Women’s Asian Cup in Jordan would be held on April 6, with the final to held on April 20.

The adjustment, which brings the starting date forward by one day, ensures the tournament will receive maximum exposure in the host nation, where the weekend starts on Friday.

It was also agreed that the 2019 editions of both the AFC U-19 and U-16 Women’s Championships would play host to a revamped qualifying format.

The new format may expand the qualification process from one round to two where more than 20 teams are involved – an initiative to provide for the ever-increasing number of Member Associations entering both tournaments.

AFC Women’s Football Committee Chairwoman Moya Dodd said: “We must continue to improve our competition pathways if we are to maintain Asia’s position as a leading Confederation in women’s football.”

Following a busy agenda, Dodd reflected on the upward trajectory of the women’s game.

“We've seen a lot of progress in women's football. Asian teams are currently world champions in the U-17 and U-20 age categories, but around the world we've seen real improvements in the promotion, visibility and commercial aspects of women's football.

"The sold-out stadiums and prime time matches are not random events, but part of a global appetite for women’s football.

"Our challenge is to make this happen consistently in Asian markets, through increased promotion and greater engagement with fans.

"Women’s sport is on the move, and now is the time for football to step forward and become the leading women’s sport in Asia and the world.”

The Committee also discussed the potential for a new format for the 2020 Women’s Olympic Asian qualifiers, as well as their ambition to explore the possibility of a championship for elite Asian women’s club sides, underlining the AFC’s dedication to raising the standard of women’s football, and providing top level competitions. 

Photos: AFC