ASIA: AFC President congratulates Nippon TV Beleza for claiming first-ever women’s club title

AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has congratulated Nippon TV Beleza for clinching the Women’s Club Championship crown after the Japanese side sealed a 5-0 win over Melbourne Victory from Australia to confirm top spot in the FIFA/AFC Pilot Tournament in Yongin, Korea Republic.

The 17-time Japanese champions went into Saturday’s decider sitting comfortably at the top of the table, having beaten host club and Korea Republic champions Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels 2-0 on Thursday after being held by China PR’s Jiangsu Suning Ladies FC 1-1 on the opening day.

The result gave Masato Nagata’s side a final tally of seven points, two points above second-placed Jiangsu Suning who closed the tournament with a 2-0 victory over Hyundai Steel Red Angels.

The AFC President said: “On behalf of the Asian football family, I would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to Nippon TV Beleza for winning the first-ever Women’s Club Championship title.”

Nippon TV Beleza’s victory completes Japan’s clean sweep of titles in the AFC’s women’s competitions this year after their youth sides claimed the AFC U-16 and U-19 Championship crowns in Thailand.

Shaikh Salman added: “Japan have had a remarkable year in the women’s game and this latest victory is another fine example of the incredible efforts undertaken by the Japan Football Association in developing world-class women’s teams who continue to dominate the biggest stages.

“I have no doubts that the achievements of the JFA and Nippon TV Beleza will serve as an inspiration to all our clubs and Member Associations to strengthen the development of women’s football – a key strategic area for the AFC which continues to grow from strength to strength.”

“Together with FIFA, the AFC launched this pilot tournament to further enhance the development of women’s football and to provide more opportunities to strengthen our players and teams through top level competition as outlined in our Vision.

“We must thank FIFA for sharing our ambitions and the Korea Football Association for being exceptional host as well as our clubs, Member Associations, members of the media and all our key stakeholders for their unwavering support.”

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