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India to host 2022 AFC Women's Asian Cup

The Indian women's senior team is ranked 12th among AFC countries. AIFF

The Asian Football Confederation has awarded the hosting rights of the 2022 Women's Asian Cup to India.

The decision was taken at the AFC Women's Football Committee meeting. In February, the AFC Women's Football Committee had recommended India to be hosts.

The tournament will likely be held in the second half of the year and will feature 12 teams, expanded from the previous slot of eight teams. India qualify directly as hosts.

The event will also serve as the final qualification tournament for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup.

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."

This will be the second major women's tournament India will host in as many years, with the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup rescheduled for February 2021.

India had also hosted the AFC Men's U-16 Championships in 2016 and the FIFA Men's U-17 World Cup in 2017.

"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.

This is the second time India will host the competition, after doing so in 1979, when it was held in EMS Stadium, Kozhikode. Chinese Taipei had won that edition, with India finishing runners-up.

Japan are the defending champions, while China holds the record for most wins, with eight. India have finished runners-up twice ('79 and '83).