With the attention shifting towards the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Costa Rica 2022, AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has sent his best wishes to Asia’s three representatives – Australia, Japan and Korea Republic – in their quest to continue the Continent’s proud legacy in the tournament, which will be held from August 10 to 28.
Asian teams have clinched the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup crown on three occasions in nine editions with Japan leading the Continent’s charge as they look to defend their maiden title captured four years ago when they defeated Spain 3-1 in France.
Shaikh Salman said: “On behalf of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), I would like to convey the best wishes of the Asian football family to Australia, Japan and Korea Republic as well as our match officials in their efforts to make Asia proud in Costa Rica.
“The AFC has outlined our ambitions to ensure our teams and match officials succeed on the biggest stages and there is no denying that our women’s age-group teams are among the best in world football. We are confident that they will continue to showcase their undeniable talent.”
Quarter-finalists in 2002 and 2004, Australia will feature in the opening day’s action on Wednesday when they take on host nation Costa Rica in what promises to be a thrilling contest at the Estadio Nacional in San José at 8pm local time.
Meanwhile, Japan, the only nation to have won all three FIFA Women’s World Cup titles - U-17, U-20, and the senior level – will begin their title defence against the Netherlands on Thursday at the Morera Soto in Alajuela at 2pm.
On the same day, heavyweights Korea Republic, who will be contesting in their sixth FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, will be aiming to surpass their third-place finish achieved in 2010 with a strong start against Canada at the Estadio Nacional six hours later.
The AFC’s world-class women’s match officials are also set to feature in Costa Rica with a team of eight officials – two Referees, four Assistant Referees and two Video Match Officials – from five AFC Member Associations appointed to the global showpiece.
Kim Yu Jeong from Korea Republic, who officiated in the Algarve Cup 2022 Final, and Lara Lee from Australia have been selected as Referees alongside Assistant Referees Truong Thi Le Trinh from Vietnam, Heba Saadieh from Palestine, Ramina Tsoi from Kyrgyz Republic, and Park Mi Suk from Korea Republic.
Australians Kate Jacewicz and Sarah Ho will join them as Video Assistant Referees (VAR) and Assistant VAR respectively in the tournament that will utilise the video technology for the first time in a FIFA youth women’s competition.
Follow the progress of Asia’s best teams in Costa Rica at the-AFC.com