Soccer: Shui confirmed as new China coach ahead of Women's Asian Cup

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Former international midfielder Shui Qingxia has been named head coach of the Chinese national team ahead of January's Women's Asian Cup in India.

The Chinese Football Association confirmed Shui's appointment on their official website and she takes on the role from Jia Xiuquan, who led the team to the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Shui had been favourite for the role having previously been in charge of the United Team, made up largely of senior international players, during China's National Games in September.

The 54-year-old, who won a silver medal with China at the 1996 Olympic Games, becomes the first Chinese woman to coach the team.

China have been drawn to face hosts India as well as Chinese Taipei and Iran in Group A of the Women's Asian Cup, which kicks off on Jan. 20.

The Chinese have won the title a record nine times but have not since 2006. China finished third at the most recent Women's Asian Cup, in Jordan in 2018.

(Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Robert Birsel)

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