AFC announce Women's Olympic Football Tournament 2020 qualifying round groups
Written by: Uttiyo Sarkar
The Indian Women's side are pitted against continental neighbours in the qualifying rounds.
The Indian Women's National team's conquest for Olympic success starts when they kickstart the Asian qualifiers for the 2020 Women's Olympic Football Tournament Tokyo in November. India has been put in Group C of the first round of the Asian qualifiers for the tournament and will face Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Nepal in their group.
Asia's elite set to vie for two spots to Tokyo 2020 in the women's football! pic.twitter.com/wCUspvNRL7— AFC (@theafcdotcom) August 2, 2018
The SAFF Women's Champions look to be the favorites to get out of the group as winners and will need to perform at their best in order to get an easier group in Round 2. While Group A and B's matches are set to kick off on November 4th, India's matches will start from 8th November onwards. India face Nepal in their opening match in the group on 8th, before facing Bangladesh on 11th November and ending their group matches with a bout against Myanmar on 13th November. The venues for the matches are yet to be decided, but could possibly be outside India.
After the group stages are over, the winners and runners-up from each group will progress to the second Round of qualifiers, while the two best third-placed teams will also attain qualification for the next round. In the second round, there will be 12 teams who will be placed into three groups of four, with the winners of each group progressing into the penultimate round of the qualifiers. The matches for Round 2 will take place in April 2019 and the Indian ladies will definitely face some stiff competition there.
But if India does manage to get out of the group stages, they will progress into Round 3 where two groups of four teams will be formed. The Asian heavyweights in Australia, North Korea, South Korea, China, and Thailand have automatically progressed into the third round thanks to their superior ranking in the AFC division. The winners and runners-up from the two groups will qualify for the two-legged playoff in March 2020 and the winners of those matches will join Japan as part of the Asian Confederation participating in the tournament.
But Maymol Rocky's team still has a long way to go before playing in the third round and will need to prepare well in order to thwart off stiff competition over the different rounds. The Indian National Women's team is currently participating in the COTIF Cup in Spain, where they even recently defeated Spanish club Alzira. The Indian ladies seem like an extremely talented bunch but will need to train hard in order to handle stiff competition in the Asian qualifiers for the Women Olympic Football tournament.
Published: Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:15 PM IST