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Jordan women’s squad leaves for 2018 Asian championship qualifiers

By Aline Bannayan - Mar 28,2017 - Last updated at Mar 28,2017

AMMAN — The women’s national football team leaves for Tajikistan on Wednesday for Group A qualifiers for the 2018 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Football Championship.

Starting April 3, Jordan will be playing Bahrain, the UAE, Iraq, Tajikistan, and the Philippines as 21 teams divided into four groups start their quest for four slots to the 2018 AFC Women’s Championship, which will be held in Amman grouping the continents top eight teams. 

Jordan will be the first country in the west Asia zone to host an AFC women’s championship. 

The delegation, headed by Jordan Football Association board member Rana Husseini, seeks to make good use of the qualifiers as a competitive chance with the inadequacy of friendly matches ahead of the qualifiers apart from hosting Algeria in two matches winning 2-1 and losing 3-2. 

Jordan has already secured a slot in the competition, as host country, but seeks to benefit from competitive chances as the top team from each group will move to the championship which includes Japan, Australia, China and host Jordan which has automatically qualified. If Jordan tops its group, the runner-up will also advance.

The competition, held every 4 years, for 15 times, has been won by China eight times. Japan is reigning champ. 

Jordan recently lost its FIFA Rankings, after it was 52nd and 11th in Asia, after 18 inactive months. The last time the senior team competed regionally was in 2015, when they exited the AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament with a winless record. 

The team is eagerly anticipating qualifiers for the 2018 AFC Women’s Championship after the U-17 team competed in the FIFA Under 17 Women’s World Cup in 2016 where they were eliminated from the first round after playing Spain, Mexico and New Zealand.  Jordan beat bids from Uruguay, South Africa, Ireland and Bahrain and was the only Arab team at the U-17 World Cup after Egypt and Morocco were eliminated from the qualifiers.

 

The U-17 FIFA World Cup, the first of its kind to take place in the Middle East, was a big boost not only for the Kingdom but women’s sports in the region.

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