The Asian Football Confederation has relocated two of the host venues for the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup in India to facilitate Covid-19-related disruption.
The Women’s Asian Cup organizers have announced that the Mumbai Football Arena, and the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune have been selected as the two brand-new host venues.
The venues will replace the host cities of Ahmedabad and Bhubaneswar. The decision to move the venues was taken to reduce the travelling time for teams and officials as 3 of the venues will all be in the state of Maharashtra.
The 37,900-capacity D.Y. Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai will remain one of the three principal venues for the competition, arranged from January 20 to February 6, 2022. The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup also in India will be held from October 11 to 30, 2022.
It added that the venues will also allow organizers to complete the bio-medical bubble for all stakeholders. Mumbai and Pune have capacities of 18,000 and 11,900, respectively.
In 2019, the event was expanded from eight to 12 teams from the 2022 edition onwards. The 2018 edition was hosted by Jordan.
Four teams have qualified for the tournament so far, with Japan, Australia, China, and India. Qualifying for the remaining eight spots will start in September, with 28 teams across eight groups competing for a place at the finals.
It is the latest change the AFC has had to make to its club and national competitions as the Covid-19 pandemic remains to cause interruptions.
Yesterday, the Federation published a new format for the AFC Champions League knockout games, changing from home and away format to a single leg from the quarter-finals onwards to restrict travel as much as possible. The executive committee also said that the AFC U17 Women’s Asian Cup Indonesia 2022 and the U20 Women’s Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2022 have been cancelled.
The next editions of both tournaments will be held in 2024. The AFC Women’s Futsal Championship Kuwait 2020 and the AFC U20 Futsal Asian Cup 2021 have also been cancelled.