The AFC is celebrating its Women's Football Day today ©Getty Images

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has claimed that women's football in Asia has made "giant strides" as it celebrates International Women's Day today.

The celebration coincides with AFC Women's Football Day which is the only such event held by one of football's continental body.

"There is no denying that women's football in Asia has made giant strides on the global stage in recent years," said Al Khalifa.

"From our women's national teams proving to be some of the best in the world, to more women entering the sport in leadership roles, their contributions have been pivotal in shaping Asian football and taking it forward.

"It fills me with pride to say that the Asian Football Confederation is the first and only Confederation in the world to have a designated day to acknowledge the commitment and sacrifices of all the women who strive to make football the number one sport on the continent, as outlined in the AFC's vision, and no day is more befitting than March 8, when the whole world celebrates International Women’s Day."

Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa says women's football in Asia has made
Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa says women's football in Asia has made "great strides" ©Getty Images

The AFC is looking forward to a pivotal year for women's football in the continent, primarily with the FIFA Women's World Cup set to take place in Australia and New Zealand from July 20 to August 20.

The event is set to make Australia the first member association to host the tournament in its 32-year history.

The competition will also be a milestone in Asia as it has the largest selection of female referees and assistant referees from the continent.

"I have the utmost gratitude towards women who are constantly making the AFC proud through their excellence and sacrifices, many of which often miss the spotlight," Al Khalifa said.

"Thus, it is important for us to use this opportunity to celebrate and honour the women who have dedicated their lives towards instilling in younger girls the courage to break barriers, transform the narrative, and most importantly, to never give up on their dreams."