The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has confirmed India will host the 2022 Asian Cup for the first time since 1979.Also Read - Sandesh Jhingan Named AIFF Men's Footballer of Year, Suresh Wins Emerging Player Award
In a letter to the All India Football Federation (AIFF), Dato Windsor John, General Secretary, AFC wrote: “The Committee awarded the hosting rights of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022 Finals to the All India Football Federation.” Also Read - Indian Football Team Coach Igor Stimac's Contract Extended Till September Next Year
The expanded tournament will see 12 teams participating, four more than the earlier slot of eight and also serve as the final qualification tournament for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Also Read - Former All India Football Federation Vice-President C R Visswanathan Dies
“I need to thank the Asian Football Confederation for finding us suitable to host the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in 2022,” AIFF President, Praful Patel said.
“The tournament will galvanise the aspiring women players and bring in a holistic social revolution as far as women’s football in the country is concerned,” he added.
India qualify directly as hosts with the event expected to start in December 2022. They have twice finished as runners-up (1980 and 1983) and once took bronze in 1981.
“The tournament will play a huge role in further popularising women’s football in India. The Women’s Asian Cup 2022 comes on the back of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2020, and will help us sustain, and build on the momentum gained,” AIFF General Secretary, Kushal Das said.
India were among the three countries to have shown interest in staging the event.
The event will become yet another high-profile football tournament to be played in the country in the recent time.
India hosted the FIFA U-17 Men’s World Cup in 2017.
They were to host the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2020 before it was postponed to next year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
India had also hosted the AFC U-16 Championships in 2016.