The AFC Women's Asian Cup returns to India for the first time since 1979 as the best of Asia bids to stake its claim for the continent's top honour. The tournament will be played in Maharashtra between January 20 and February 6.
India is returning to the competition for the first time since 2003 in a 12-team field. Thomas Dennerby is the coach of the national team after being promoted to the role last year from the U-17 girls' set-up.
The tournament was originally set to be held in 2021 in Navi Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Bhubaneswar but was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This edition of the tournament will be played behind closed doors.
Here's everything you need to know about the upcoming Asian Cup:
What are the venues for the AFC Asian Cup 2022?
The tournament is held in Maharashtra across three cities -- Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Pune. The three venues are Mumbai Football Arena (Mumbai), DY Patil Stadium (Navi Mumbai) and ShivChatrapati Sports Complex (Pune).
Where to watch AFC Asian Cup 2022?
The AFC Asian Cup will be telecast live on Discovery Network's Eurosport India and can be streamed live on Jio TV .
Who are the teams participating?
The tournament is expanded to 12 teams for the first time in its history. Apart from the host India, the other teams are Japan, China, Iran, Chinese Taipei, Australia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia, Thailand, South Korea and Phillipines.
Who is the defending champion?
Japan is the two-time defending champion having won the tournament in 2014 and 2018. China is the most successful team in the competition with eight titles, including seven successive wins between 1986 and 1999.
What's at stake?
Apart from winning the continent's top prize, the four semifinalists will earn a direct berth for next year's FIFA Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. The four losing quarterfinalists will also get an opportunity to qualify for the World Cup finals.
Who are India's opponents?
India has been drawn against IR Iran (January 20), Chinese Taipei (January 23) and China PR (January 26) in Group A of the competition. All of India's group matches are scheduled for a 7.30pm kick-off.
When and where will the final be held?
The final will be held at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on February 6 at 4.30 pm.
Who are India's 23-member squad?
GOALKEPEERS: Aditi Chauhan (1), Maibam Linthoingambi Devi (23), Sowmiya Narayanasamy (19).
DEFENDERS: Dalima Chhibber (17), Sweety Devi Ngangbam (2), Ritu Rani (21), Loitongbam Ashalata Devi (4), Manisa Panna (3), Hemam Shilky Devi (5), Sanju Yadav (8).
MIDFIELDERS: Yumnam Kamala Devi (6), Anju Tamang (9), Karthika Angamuthu (20), Nongmeithem Ratanbala Devi (7), Naorem Priyangka Devi (14), Indumathi Kathiresan (12).
FORWARDS: Manisha Kalyan (16), Grace Dangmei (11), Pyari Xaxa (10), Renu (15), Sumati Kumari (22), Sandhiya Ranganathan (13), Mariyammal Balamurugan (18).
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