2023 AFC Women’s Club Championship Final not moving forward

AFC Women's Club Championship logo

This week, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) revealed that the 2023 AFC Women’s Club Championship Final will not happen.

The tournament’s group stage concluded last November with Urawa Red Diamonds and Hyundai Steel Red Angels sealing spots in the final.

Months went by without the AFC setting a date for the title match. But on Friday, news emerged of the governing body’s decision not to proceed with the game.

An anticlimactic conclusion

The lack of a Club Championship Final is a disappointment for Urawa and the Red Angels. Both teams went undefeated in the group stage — taking down fellow league champions from across the continent.

The AFC’s lack of explanation is particularly disheartening. The decision was brought to light solely through announcements made by the Urawa Reds and WE League.

“We deeply regret this decision and the method of notification,” said the WE League’s press release. “Together with the JFA, the WE League will request that AFC explain the circumstances behind the cancellation of the finals and why the notification was made at this time.”

Future AFC women’s continental club competitions

The AFC designed the Women’s Club Championship as a precursor to the upcoming AFC Women’s Champions League (AWCL). Despite the 2023 final’s cancelation, the AWCL is still on track to kick off later this year.

The AFC Women’s Football Committee met during last year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup to approve tentative details for the AWCL. In that meeting, the committee confirmed that the tournament would run during the 2024/25 season. A preliminary stage could begin as soon as August.

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