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Women to referee at men’s Asian Cup for first time

Women including Japanese trailblazer Yoshimi Yamashita will referee at the men’s Asian Cup for the first time next year in Qatar, officials said Thursday.

Yamashita, who was also selected for the 2022 men’s World Cup in Qatar, has been chosen alongside four other women for the regional championship in January-February.

“For the first time ever, women match officials are poised to make their debut at Asia’s most prestigious men’s national team competition,” the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said in a statement.

The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system will also make its “full debut” at the tournament, the AFC said.

The Asian Cup will have 24 teams for the first time and hosts Qatar are the reigning champions.

Japan and South Korea will also be among the favourites after reaching the World Cup last 16 in Qatar.

Last month the AFC announced it would launch an Asian women’s Champions League next year.

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