AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022 to be held in Mumbai and Pune

The D.Y. Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai, Mumbai Football Arena in Andheri and Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi, Pune will host all the games of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022. The tournament is scheduled to be played from January 20 to February 6, 2022.

Mumbai Football Arena

The Mumbai Football Arena in Andheri has been chosen as one of the three stadiums that will host the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022.   -  Prashant Nakwe

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022 Local Organising Committee (LOC) announced on Tuesday that the Mumbai Football Arena and Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi, Pune will be the new venues and host cities for the competition.

The 37,900-capacity D.Y. Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai will remain as one of the three stadiums that will stage the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 which is slated to take place from January 20 to February 6, 2022.

The decision was taken after considering the existing challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and as part of efforts to minimise the travelling time for teams and officials between the venues, whilst ensuring the optimum environment to implement the bio medical bubble for the benefit of all stakeholders.

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Speaking about the change in venue, All India Football Federation president and LOC chairman Praful Patel said, “As the situation evolved, we had to adapt and the need was to create a bio-secure bubble. Hence, we chose Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Pune, venues in close geographical proximity with stadiums that have previously hosted major football competitions. 

“I am happy that the Maharashtra government is paying special attention to the infrastructure and preparations for the tournament, and is dedicated to make the AFC Women’s Asian Cup a grand success.”

Patel also thanked the governments of Odisha and Gujarat, the states that were scheduled to host the tournament previously. “I would like to extend my gratitude to the governments of Odisha and Gujarat, who were both enthusiastic about hosting this tournament. While we continue to adapt, we can assure that thorough preparations will be made to ensure we stage a truly spectacular and safe AFC Women’s Asian Cup.”

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Japan, Australia, China PR and host India have already sealed their places in the finals and the race to join the quartet will take centrestage from September this year when 28 teams across eight groups begin their quest to clinch the eight remaining places in the newly-expanded and biggest-ever edition of the continental women’s showpiece.

Three-time champion Chinese Taipei, Bahrain, Turkmenistan and Laos have been drawn in Group A, while Group B will see Vietnam, Tajikistan, Maldives and Afghanistan compete for a place in the finals. Asian powerhouse and three-time title holder DPR Korea is in Group C alongside Singapore, Iraq and Indonesia with Myanmar, United Arab Emirates, Guam and Lebanon completing the line-up in Group D.

Korea Republic, Uzbekistan and Mongolia are in Group E, as Philippines, Hong Kong and Nepal prepare to battle in Group F. Jordan, the 2018 host, will be eyeing a second successive appearance in the finals but will face tough oppositions against the Islamic Republic of Iran and Bangladesh in Group G. Meanwhile, Thailand, Palestine and Malaysia will battle for the coveted finals solitary spot in Group H.

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