AFC inaugural Women’s Champions League to kick off in August, Odisha FC to represent India

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The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is set to launch a new era of success and progress for women’s football in Asia with the inaugural season of the AFC Women’s Champions League. This landmark event, which will kick off in August 2024, is a significant step forward in the development of women’s football in the region.

Odisha FC Women will represent India at the inaugural AFC Women’s Champions League in the preliminary stage.

Teams in AFC Women’s Champions League

The tournament will feature 22 clubs from 22 Member Associations (MAs), each represented by one club. The top eight MAs, as ranked according to the latest FIFA Women’s World Ranking (as of 15 March 2024), will qualify directly to the Group Stage.

These include Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies, DPR Korea’s Naegohyang Women’s FC, Australia’s Melbourne City FC, China PR’s Wuhan Jiangda Women’s FC, Korea Republic’s Hyundai Steel Red Angels Women’s FC, Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City Women’s FC, Philippines’ Kaya FC-Iloilo, and Chinese Taipei’s Taichung Blue Whale Women’s Football Team.

The remaining 14 clubs will have to make it through the Preliminary Stage which features four groups. The Preliminary Stage will be played in a centralised league format between August 25 and 31, with the four group winners qualifying for the Group Stage. Jordan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and Thailand will host one group each in the Preliminary Stage, while China PR and Vietnam will be hosting one group each in the Group Stage.

The Group Stage, which comprises three groups of four teams, will be contested in a centralised league format from October 6 to 12. The top two finishers of each group and the two best third-placed sides will progress to the Quarter Finals to be played on March 22 and 23, 2025. A Knockout Stage draw will be conducted prior to the Quarter Finals to determine the four pairings.

The Semi-Finals and Final – all single-leg ties – will be played out from May 21 to 24, 2025. This dynamic format, aligned with the AFC’s determination for women’s football to flourish, promises an exciting and competitive tournament.

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