HONG KONG (Reuters) - South Korea will host the inaugural Asian Women’s Club Championship, the Asian Football Confederation announced on Friday, with the tournament featuring four of the leading female club sides from within the region.
Nippon TV Beleza from Japan, China’s Jiangsu Suning and Melbourne Victory of Australia will join Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels in the tournament, which will be played on a round-robin basis from Nov. 26 to 30.
“Women’s football has always been an integral area of development for the AFC and the remarkable success of our teams underlines the incredible strides Asia continues to make in women’s football globally,” AFC president Sheikh Salman bin Khalifa said in a statement.
“Competitions is one of the major drivers of development and the Women’s Club Championship reinforces our commitment to further strengthen the foundations for the women’s game in Asia to scale even greater heights.”
While the men’s game in Asia often lags behind the leading nations in Europe and South America, the continent is one of the leaders on the female side of the sport.
Japan won the Women’s World Cup in 2011 with China having previously reached the final in 1999, while teams from the east of the continent have also won titles at the FIFA U17 and U20 Women’s World Cup.
Melbourne Victory, the current W-League Premiers, will kick off the tournament when they face Incheon, who have won the WK League in each of the last six seasons, on Nov. 26, with Jiangsu and Nippon TV Beleza meeting later the same day.
Reporting by Michael Church; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore