Following the invitation to all Member Associations (MAs) to express their interest in hosting the AFC Women’s Asian Cup™ 2026 by July 31, 2022, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has confirmed it has received expressions of interest from four MAs.
The four MAs who have signalled their intention to stage Asia’s premier women’s football national team tournament are (in alphabetical order by country): Football Australia, Jordan Football Association (JFA), Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) and the Uzbekistan Football Association (UFA).
The AFC will now work with all Bidding Member Associations on the delivery of the necessary bidding documentation in accordance with the bidding process with a decision to be finalised and communicated in 2023. The AFC Women’s Asian Cup™ 2026 is expected to build on the solid foundations of the tournament’s celebrated legacy. Expanded from eight to 12 teams, not only was the AFC Women’s Asian Cup™ India 2022 the biggest-ever edition in nearly two decades, but it was also organised by the largest-ever women’s delegation.
Off-the-pitch, the tournament benefitted from the biggest ensemble of women match officials who were instrumental in the implementation of the Video Assistant Referee system for the first time from the Quarter-final stage. Similarly, engagement and coverage of the 2022 showpiece surpassed the previous edition as the AFC’s digital channels witnessed a remarkable 5,324% rise compared to the AFC Women’s Asian Cup™ 2018.
More than 270 million impressions, 17 million engagements and 74 million video views were recorded across the AFC’s channels. Australia last hosted the AFC Women’s Asian Cup™ in 2006 with the Matildas going on to clinch their sole title four years later in China PR, while Uzbekistan – the hosts of this year’s AFC Women’s Club Championship (West) – will be vying to become the first Central Asian nation to stage the Continent’s most prestigious women’s tournament in their second attempt.
Meanwhile, Jordan became the first West Asian country to host the AFC Women’s Asian Cup™ in 2018, while Saudi Arabia are aiming to be only the second nation in the West Asian zone to stage the competition.
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