Japan to host unofficial women’s club world championship


Japan will host the inaugural International Women’s Club Championship in November, with ambitions of eventually turning it into a worldwide FIFA-sanctioned event.

The Japan Women’s Football League announced on Wednesday that Nadeshiko League Cup-winner NTV Beleza and this season’s yet-to-be-determined Nadeshiko League champion will be joined at the competition in Saitama by two-time defending European Champions League winner Lyon and Canberra United, the Australian champion.

It will be a straight knockout tournament, with the first games scheduled for Nov. 22 at Urawa Komaba Stadium. The winners play for the $60,000 title three days later at Nack5 Stadium.

JWFL general secretary Yoshinori Taguchi said the event will be held for at least three years and hopes to include teams from other confederations in the future, with the aim of becoming the women’s counterpart of the Club World Cup.

“The plan is to organize it for a minimum of three years,” Taguchi said. “From next year onward, we’d like to have a South American team involved and hopefully, we can receive FIFA’s blessing somewhere down the line.”