India in tough Group A with China, Iran and Chinese Taipei in AFC Women's Asian Cup
New Delhi, October 29, 2021
Hosts India have been placed in a very tough Group A alongside eight-time champions China, two-time champions Chinese Taipei and Iran in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup scheduled for January-February next year.
The draw ceremony was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Thursday.
India will open their campaign against Iran on January 20, followed by matches against Chinese Taipei on January 23, , and China on January 26,
“It is an exciting group. We respect all our opponents as all of them are strong teams who have qualified for the AFC Asian Cup India 2022. But we are ready to play any team,” Indian team coach Thomas Dennerby stated after the draw.
“I don’t consider any particular match as a key one. All three matches are key matches for us in the group stage. We need to do our job over 90 minutes every time we enter the field,” he asserted .
Meanwhile, ahead of the draw ceremony, All India Football Federation (AIFF) President Praful Patel said, “The AFC Women’s Asian Cup is the premier flagship tournament for women’s football in our continent, and I’m proud and happy that India is going to be the host for the 2022 edition.
"I thank the AFC, AIFF, and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for jointly working together to bring a fantastic tournament not only for the fans in India but also for all of the Asian continent.”
“The AFC had recently come and inspected all the facilities in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, and Pune. We are looking forward to January 2022 to welcome all the 12 teams to our beautiful country, and I am confident they will be satisfied with the facilities, and hospitality that we have to offer in India,” he expressed.
Asian Football Confederation General Secretary Dato Windsor John said: “The AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 promises to be another great celebration throughout the Continent.
"Together with the All India Football Federation and the Local Organising Committee, we are confident of staging a remarkable tournament that will leave a legacy for many years to come. I must congratulate the teams who have qualified and will line up along with the top three teams from the last edition and our hosts India.”
“I wish the LOC and our friends and colleagues at the AIFF the very best in hosting a truly world-class event next year,” Dato Windsor continued. “I must also thank the people behind the scenes, our officials, members of the media, our commercial partners, stakeholders, and of course, Asia’s unwavering fans for your support. To the 12 teams, I wish you all the best.”
The Indian team is currently camping in Jamshedpur with logistical and infrastructural aid from the Government of Jharkhand since September.
The team has also gone on an exposure tour to UAE, Bahrain, and Sweden, where they played against international teams like UAE, Tunisia, Bahrain, and Chinese Taipei.
The side has also played two friendlies against Swedish Dammalsvenskan (Tier 1) clubs Hammarby IF and Djurgarden IF.
India's fixtures in the group stage
January 20; vs Iran (7.30 pm – DY Patil Stadium).
January 23; vs Chinese Taipei (7.30 pm – DY Patil Stadium).
January 26: vs China (7.30 pm – Mumbai Football Arena).