The growing reputation and prestige of the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) competitions have been reflected by a revamping and rebranding of the AFC age group championships to become AFC Asian Cups from 2021.
At the same time the AFC Futsal Championship, AFC Women’s Futsal Championship, AFC U-20 Futsal Championship and AFC Beach Soccer Championship will also become AFC Asian Cups after the AFC Executive Committee ratified a recent decision by the AFC Marketing Committee.
Dato’ Windsor John, the AFC General Secretary, said: “We believe the change reflects the new stature of the competitions and by further strengthening the brand and commercial value of our competitions, there will be significant benefits for the AFC and its Member Associations.”
“It is not only the name that will change as the AFC, in line with our Vision and Mission, will continue to enhance and invest in all our competitions to provide the best platform for Asia’s talents at all levels in the coming years.”
The first competition to carry the new name will be the qualifying rounds for the 2022 AFC U17 Women’s Asian Cup and the 2022 AFC U20 Women’s Asian Cup.
Japan, North Korea and South Korea will be direct qualifiers to the AFC U20 Women’s Asian Cup final competition in 2022 after they finished as the top three teams in the AFC U-19 Women’s Championships in Thailand in 2019.
Japan, North Korea and China PR received automatic qualification for the 2022 AFC U17 Women’s Asian Cup in line with their finishing position in the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship also held in Thailand in 2019.
The hosts for both qualifying round 1 competitions have also been decided with Australia, Mongolia, Myanmar and Tajikistan hosting groups in both the AFC U17 Women’s Asian Cup and the AFC U20 Women’s Asian Cup.
For the AFC U17 Women’s Asian Cup qualifiers the other hosts will be Bangladesh, Jordan, Kyrgyz Republic and Vietnam while China, Chinese Taipei, Laos and Singapore will make up the remaining hosts in the AFC U20 Women’s Asian Cup qualifying round 1.
The latest rebranding and revamping exercise applies only to AFC competitions which are scheduled to take place from 2021 and will not impact the age-group tournaments that were postponed from 2020.