The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is planning to launch a women’s Champions League in 2023, according to Bai Lili, the governing body’s head of women’s soccer.
Speaking to the AFP, Lili (pictured above) said that details for the new competition are still being finalised, including the number of teams that will participate and the tournament’s exact format.
The existing men’s AFC Champions League will feature 40 clubs for the first time this year, with teams competing across a group stage and knockout rounds, although it is not yet clear whether the women’s equivalent will adopt the same structure.
Lili said that the new tournament would “definitely boost women’s football” in Asia, which is currently lagging behind Europe and the US in terms of development.
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“If we are organising a club competition, that means the participants need to meet the criteria for the club licensing, the leagues need to be well organised,” Lili told the AFP.
“That is definitely going to help the domestic leagues. It will give exposure to the non-national team players.”
The AFC’s endeavours in women’s club soccer to date include the Women’s Club Championship, which debuted in 2019 with four teams from Australia, China, Japan and South Korea. Another edition of the tournament is planned for this year and in 2022 ahead of the launch of the women’s Champions League in 2023.
The governing body also organises the AFC Women’s Asian Cup national team competition, which takes place every four years, but Lili said in her interview with the AFP that having a regular major club competition will strengthen the women’s game in Asia in the same way the Uefa Women’s Champions League has in Europe.


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