Wed, 01 Dec 2021

Kuala Lumpur [Malaysia], October 28 (ANI): AFC Women's Asian Cup India 2022 will kick off on January 20, with a match between eight-time champions China PR and Chinese Taipei. The match will set the tone for an entertaining campaign next year.

Following the official draw ceremony held on Wednesday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia the Steel Roses will face Chinese Taipei in Group A at the Mumbai Football Arena at 3.30 pm (local time).

Host nation India go head-to-head against the Islamic Republic of Iran, who are making their debut, in the opening day action at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai at 7.30 pm.

President of the All India Football Federation and Chairman, Local Organising Committee, Praful Patel said in an official release, "The AFC Women's Asian Cup is the flagship tournament for women's football in our continent and I am very proud and happy that India is going to host the 2022 edition of the tournament. With the conclusion of the draw, we have achieved yet another significant milestone en route to the AFC Women's Asian Cup India 2022.""I am extremely excited and am eagerly looking forward to the wonderful games that we are going to see in India from January 20, 2022, onward. On behalf of everyone, I would like to wish every visiting team the very best for this prestigious tournament. Our Goal for All through this tournament is to remain committed to making women's football more popular and dynamic across the entire Asian continent," he added.

The action will continue on January 21 when Australia, champions in 2010 and runners-up in the last two editions, will take on Indonesia at the Mumbai Football Arena at 3.30 pm while Thailand plays the Philippines at the DY Patil Stadium at 5.30 pm in Group B.

In Group C, Japan will begin their title defence against Myanmar at 1.30 pm while the Korea Republic have Vietnam for the company six hours later. Both matches will be played at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune.

Adding excitement to the competition, the leading five teams at the AFC Women's Asian Cup India 2022 will qualify for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

If Australia finishes among the top five teams in India, the sixth-ranked team will earn a spot in the global showpiece in 2023 as the Matildas automatically qualify as the co-hosts along with New Zealand.

However, the fixtures and sequence of the play-off matches that will determine which team qualifies for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup and the two slots to the Inter-Confederation Play-off matches will depend on the progress of Australia.

Should Australia qualify to the semi-finals, the four losing teams from the quarter-finals will engage in a play-off, with the two winning teams qualifying to the FIFA Women's World Cup and the losing teams earning a place at the inter-confederation play-off.

If the Matildas' campaign ends in the quarter-finals, the three losing quarter-finalists will play in a one-round robin format with the winner advancing to the FIFA Women's World Cup and the remaining two teams securing berths for the inter-confederation play-off.

In the final scenario, if Australia does not advance to the quarter-finals, the four losing quarter-finalists will play two rounds of play-off matches.

The winners of the first play-off matches will face off in a decider for a direct slot to the FIFA Women's World Cup while the loser of this play-off match and the winner of the other play-off match will qualify to the inter-confederation play-off. (ANI)

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