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The AFC Futsal & Beach Soccer Committee made several key decisions today as part of its efforts to ensure the continued progress of both sports at its second meeting held in Bangkok, Thailand.

Held on the eve of the ongoing AFC Futsal Asian Cup™ Thailand 2024 Final, the Committee, led by Chairperson Mehdi Taj, congratulated and sent their best wishes to the two finalists – Thailand and the Islamic Republic of Iran – on qualifying for Sunday’s final and expressed their gratitude to the hosts, the Football Association of Thailand, for their outstanding hosting capabilities.

In preparation for the FIFA Futsal Women’s World Cup that is set to kick off in 2025, the Committee approved the format, competition dates and regulations of the AFC Women’s Futsal Asian Cup 2025™, which will be organised quadrennially.

The AFC Women’s Futsal Asian Cup 2025™ Finals, tentatively scheduled to be held from May 7 to 18, will be contested in a centralised location by the Continent’s top 12 sides, divided into three groups of four teams each to be played in a single round robin format, with the top two finishers and two best third-placed teams qualifying for the Quarter-finals.

The Semi-finals, followed by the third-placed playoff match and title-decider will determine Asia’s three representatives at the inaugural edition of the women’s futsal global showpiece. The Committee also mandated the AFC Administration to finalise the format and competition dates of the Qualifiers, which will be decided based on the number of entries received and is currently scheduled to be held in the window of January 2025.

Moving onto the men’s equivalent, the Committee had a discussion on the format of the next edition of the AFC Futsal Asian Cup™. The Committee noted the challenges of the current biennial format, particularly against the backdrop of the quadrennial FIFA Futsal World Cup,

The Committee also discussed the impact on Asian futsal development from various aspects and after due consideration, the decision was taken to mandate the Administration to make the final decision taking into account all the points discussed at the meeting.

Members of the Committee also noted the growth of the AFC Beach Soccer Asian Cup™, which currently does not comprise a Qualifiers stage. In anticipation of expanded interest from PMAs, the Committee mandated the AFC Administration to decide on the format and competition dates of the potential AFC Beach Soccer Asian Cup™ Qualifiers, which is tentatively scheduled to be held from November 15 to 24, 2024.

Finally, the Committee also noted the comprehensive initiatives and programmes undertaken in the key areas of Referees, Technical and Development, which include the AFC Futsal & Beach Soccer Coaching Courses, the AFC Futsal Member Associations Development Online Meetings and the AFC Referees Recruitment 2023 and 2024.

All decisions will need to be ratified by the AFC Executive Committee to take effect.