The battle for the final two spots to join hosts and reigning Asian champions Japan, at the Women’s Football Tournament at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 will be decided in a new and innovative qualifying tournament.
The Continent’s remaining women’s sides will learn their fate in the Asian Qualifiers Final Round Draw at the AFC House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The revamped qualifying format for the 2020 edition will see the eight remaining teams divided into two groups, with the top two sides advancing to the two-legged play-offs to decide the final two Asian qualifiers.
This will give the Continent’s elite teams the opportunity to play their most significant matches in front of their home fans.
After two qualifying rounds of captivating action, the initial cast of 18 was whittled down to three with Myanmar, Vietnam and Chinese Taipei joining Australia, China PR, DPR Korea, Korea Republic and Thailand who reached the final round automatically as the highest ranked teams during the first round of qualifiers.
Following the outcome of the latest FIFA Ranking released on September 27, 2019, the Continent’s top-ranked sides Australia and DPR Korea will be placed in Pot 1, joint hosts for the final round, China PR and Korea Republic are in Pot 2, followed by Vietnam and Thailand in Pot 3 and Chinese Taipei and Myanmar confirming their places in the final pot.
The Asian Qualifiers Final Round will take place from February 3 to 9, 2020 with the two-legged play-off scheduled to take place on March 6 and 11, 2020.
Football at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will commence with the women’s matches on July 22 – two days before the Games’ official opening ceremony – with the men’s competition to begin on July 23. The 12-team women’s tournament will conclude on August 7, with the men’s tournament to conclude the following day.
Asian teams have established a long and proud tradition at the Olympic Games, with China PR (1996) and Japan (2012) winning silver in the women’s tournament, while Japan (1968) and Korea Republic (2012) clinched the bronze medals in the men’s competition.