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AFC Confirms Odisha FC’s Participation In The Inaugural AFC Women’s Champions League 2024/25

The AFC has officially announced that India will participate in the debut edition of the AFC Women’s Champions League 2024/25. Odisha FC Women will be the pioneering club to represent the country in this new tournament next season.

Odisha FC Image Credits Odisha FC Women Twitter AFC Confirms Odisha FC’s Participation In The Inaugural AFC Women’s Champions League 2024/25
Odisha FC, Image Credits – Odisha FC Women Twitter

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) shared this news on X (previously known as Twitter).

Exciting News!!! AFC confirms India’s participation in the inaugural AFC Women’s Champions League 2024/25. India will be represented by its top-tier IWL winner @OdishaFCW.”

The new format Women’s Champions League will feature 20 nations competition, having preliminary round followed by group stage and knockout,” the tweet added.

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  1. When will the Bhubaneswar Camp begin?

    Starting May 10, the 26 players from the first list will commence training in the Odisha capital, with the 15 players from the second list joining the camp on May 15.

Read More: How Real Madrid Won The La Liga 2023-24 Without Their Starting CBs and Thibaut Courtois

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What Led To Odisha FC’s Selection As India’s Representative In The 2024/25 AFC Women’s Champions League?

In the inaugural AFC Women’s Champions League, 20 teams from across Asia will vie for the championship title. The tournament consists of three stages: the preliminary round, the group stage, and finally, the knockout stage.

Odisha FC Women clinched the title in the 2023-24 Indian Women’s League (IWL), emerging as the top team in India’s premier women’s league. Their victory secured them a spot in the upcoming AFC Women’s Champions League 2024/25.

Odisha FC Image Credits Odisha FC Women X Twitter AFC Confirms Odisha FC’s Participation In The Inaugural AFC Women’s Champions League 2024/25
Odisha FC, Image Credits – Odisha FC Women X (Twitter)

Finishing at the top of the standings with 31 points from 12 matches, Odisha FC Women recorded 10 wins, one draw, and one loss. Their campaign concluded with a notable goal difference of 27, scoring 31 goals while conceding four.

Gokulam Kerala FC Women were also strong contenders in the latest edition of the Indian Women’s League. However, they settled for second place in the 2023-24 IWL standings with 29 points, comprising nine wins, two draws, and a loss.

Despite a commendable goal difference of 28, with 33 goals scored and five conceded, the Kerala-based club fell short by a narrow margin, missing out on both the IWL 2023-24 title and a berth in the AFC Women’s Champions League 2024/25.

Overview of AFC Women’s Champions League 2024/25 Format

The competition will kick off with a preliminary stage in late August, accommodating the total number of participating teams. This initial round will adopt a centralized league format, allowing top-performing clubs to progress to the group stage. Clubs belonging to Member Associations with higher women’s world rankings will skip the preliminary round and secure direct entry slots into the group stage.

Following the preliminary stage, twelve teams will be divided into three groups. These teams will engage in a single round-robin format of matches scheduled between October 6-12. After this stage, the top two teams from each group, along with the two best third-placed teams, will advance to the quarterfinals.

Odisha FC Image Credits AIFF Twitter jpg AFC Confirms Odisha FC’s Participation In The Inaugural AFC Women’s Champions League 2024/25
Odisha FC, Image Credits – AIFF Twitter

The knockout stage will commence with the quarterfinals on March 22 and 23 of the following year. Subsequently, the semifinals and finals, set to take place between May 21-24, will feature single-leg contests held at a centralized venue.

Stimac Announces Second Batch of 15 Potential Players For Bhubaneswar Camp

Igor Stimac, the coach of the Indian men’s football team, has announced a second list of 15 potential players for the Bhubaneswar camp leading up to the FIFA World Cup 2026 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 matches against Kuwait and Qatar. This additional roster follows the initial list revealed on Saturday.

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Starting May 10, the 26 players from the first list will commence training in the Odisha capital, with the 15 players from the second list joining the camp on May 15. Notably, all members of the second list participated in last week’s ISL final representing Mumbai City FC and Mohun Bagan Super Giant.

A total of 41 players will participate in the national camp to prepare for the upcoming matches, including a home game against Kuwait in Kolkata on June 6 and an away match against Qatar on June 11. Currently ranked second in Group A with four points from four matches, India aims to secure qualification for Round 3 of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers and earn a spot in the 2027 AFC Asian Cup in Saudi Arabia.

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The second list of 15 potential players for the Bhubaneswar camp includes:

  • Goalkeepers: Phurba Tempa Lachenpa, Vishal Kaith
  • Defenders: Akash Mishra, Anwar Ali, Mehtab Singh, Rahul Bheke, Subhasish Bose
  • Midfielders: Anirudh Thapa, Deepak Tangri, Lalengmawia Ralte, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Liston Colaco, Sahal Abdul Samad
  • Forwards: Manvir Singh, Vikram Partap Singh

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