The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has decided to reschedule the qualifying rounds for the AFC U20 Women’s Asian Cup 2022 and AFC U17 Women’s Asian Cup 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Westfield Young Matildas and Westfield Junior Matildas were set to feature in these qualifying tournaments on the road to the AFC U20 and U17 Women's Asian Cups in 2022.
The U20 Round 1 Qualifiers were set to take place in Shepparton, Victoria in March 2021, while the U17 Round 1 Qualifiers were to be played in Cessnock, New South Wales in April 2021.
The first stage of U20 qualifying will now take place from 14-22 August 2021. While the first stage of U17 qualifying has been moved to September 18-26 2021.
In turn, the second round of qualifiers have also been pushed back to November 2021 and December 2021 respectively.
The AFC granted Australia the hosting rights for a group in each of the qualifying tournaments of the youth Women's Asian Cups in October last year.
At the time Football Australia Chief Executive Officer, James Johnson, said that the hosting of these tournaments was an important milestone for the development of football in Australia.
“On behalf of the Australian football community, I would like to extend our thanks and gratitude to the AFC for granting Australia the hosting rights for these important youth women’s football tournaments which will be held next year,” Johnson said.
“The hosting of these two tournaments aligns with our desire, espoused within the XI Principles for the future of Australian football for Australia, to become the centre of women’s football in the Asia-Pacific region.
“We are excited that our future stars will have the chance to play for Australia on home soil and to showcase their talent in front of friends and family. It also our great pleasure to bring international football to the communities in Cessnock and Shepparton and we hope to provide more opportunities for Australian communities, particularly those in regional areas, to share in the spectacle of the world game.
The Westfield Young Matildas and the Westfield Junior Matildas will learn which Asian nations they will host in their respective groups when the official draw is conducted at AFC House later this year at a date to be confirmed.