An Indian side will feature in the prestigious AFC Women's Club Championship 2021 to be held later this year, the national federation said on Tuesday. The Indian Women's League champions will represent the country in the eight-team pilot tournament of the Asian Football Confederation, to be played between October 30 and November 14 this year.
Group A (East) will consist of clubs from Chinese Taipei, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, while Group B (West) will have teams from India, Iran, Jordan and Uzbekistan.
Terming the development as another first-of-its-kind milestone, All India Football Federation Generpal Secretary Kushal Das said the competition will provide a "huge boost" to women's game in India. "We already have two International events -- the AFC Women's Asian Cup and FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup lined up in 2022.
As a prelude to that, Indian representation in the Club Championship will further redefine women's football in India," he said. The tournament, which is envisaged to become the AFC Women's Champions League in 2013, began in 2019 with four champion teams from Australia, China, Japan and South Korea taking part in it. Beleza of South Korea won the title while Jiangsu of China finished runners-up.
The tournament was not held last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The AIFF said the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) will have a soft implementation of the Women's Club Licensing System in order to prepare them and member associations ahead of the planned AFC Women's Champions League in 2023. The AIFF will soon begin conducting workshops regarding the same for clubs across the country.