AFC Women's Asian Cup 2022: Mumbai, Pune chosen as new venues

The decision has been taken in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, to minimize the travelling of teams and officials, and ensure an optimum environment for bio-bubble.

D.Y. Patil stadium, Navi Mumbai remains as one of the three stadiums to host the AFC Women's Asian Cup 2022; Credit: Twitter/@IndianFootball

Today, it has been announced by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022 TM Local Organising Committee (LOC) that Mumbai Football Arena – Andheri Sports Complex, Mumbai and the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi, Pune as the new venues and host cities for Asia’s premier women’s national team competition. The decision was taken because of the COVID-19 pandemic, to reduce the traveling of the teams and the officials, and also to ensure an optimum environment to implement the bio-bubble for the safety of the stakeholders.

Along with these two stadiums, the D.Y. Patil stadium in Navi Mumbai will remain the third venue for hosting the competition from January 20 to February 6, 2022.

“The decision was confirmed taking into careful consideration the existing challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the AFC stated in a press release.

The body said it was part of “efforts to minimize the traveling time for teams and officials between the venues, whilst ensuring the optimum environment to implement the Biomedical Bubble for the benefit of all stakeholders.”

“The 37,900-capacity D Y Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai will remain as one of the three stadiums that will stage the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 which is on schedule to take place from January 20 to February 6, 2022,” the AFC said.

Speaking about the selection of new venues, President of All India Football Federation(AIFF) and Chairman of LOC, Mr Praful Patel said that  “As the situation evolved, we had to adapt and the need was to create a bio-secure bubble. Hence, we chose Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Pune, venues in close geographical proximity with stadiums that have previously hosted major football competitions.

Patel also thanked the state governments of Odisha and Gujarat which were slated to host the tournament previously. “I would like to extend my gratitude to the governments of Odisha and Gujarat, who were both enthusiastic about hosting this tournament. While we continue to adapt, we can assure that thorough preparations will be made to ensure we stage a truly spectacular and safe AFC Women’s Asian Cup.”

Japan, Australia, China PR and hosts India have already sealed their spot in the competition. Meanwhile, the race to join the quartet will start from September this year. 28 teams across eight groups will fight for the eight remaining spots in the newly expanded biggest ever edition of the competition.

Group A- Chinese Taipei, Bahrain, Turkmenistan, Laos

Group B- Vietnam, Tajikistan, Maldives, Afghanistan

Group C- DPR Korea, Singapore, Iraq, Indonesia

Group D- Myanmar, United Arab Emirates, Guam, Lebanon

Group E-  Korea Republic, Uzbekistan, Mongolia

Group F-Philippines, Hong Kong, Nepal

Group G- Islamic Republic of Iran, Jordan, Bangladesh

Group H- Thailand, Palestine, Malaysia

Sportslumo Desk

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