2022 will be a landmark year for Indian women’s football with two major international events — the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022 and the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022 — set to be hosted in India. In the build-up to the mega-events, another milestone will be achieved as an Indian club is set to feature in the AFC Women’s Club Championship 2021, a pilot tournament being implemented soon by the Asian Football Confederation.
The tournament will feature eight teams from eight different nations and will be played between October 30 to November 14, 2021. Group A (East) will consist of representative clubs from Chinese Taipei, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, while Group B (West) is set to feature a club each from India, IR Iran, Jordan and Uzbekistan wherein India are to be represented by the Hero Indian Women’s League champions.
AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das stated that the competition will provide a “huge boost” to women’s football in India. “An Indian club playing in the AFC Women’s Club Championship is a great opportunity to boost the growth of women’s football in India. We already have two International events – the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, and the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup lined up in 2022. As a prelude to that, Indian representation in the Club Championship will further redefine women’s football in India to a large extent by capturing the imagination of all fans,” the General Secretary averred.
The AFC will also have a soft implementation of the AFC Women’s Club Licensing System in order to prepare clubs and Member Associations, ahead of the planned AFC Women’s Champions League in 2023. The AIFF will soon begin conducting workshops regarding the same for clubs across the country.