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2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup: Guide

The eighth edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off in a few days in France. It is the first time the French nation would be hosting the event but third time a European country will. 24 countries from six confederations would be participating in the month long (June 07 – July 07) competition which would be staged in nine stadiums in nine different cities.  The United States will be in France attempting to defend the title they won four years ago in Canada. It will also be the first Women’s World Cup to use the video assistant referee (VAR) system.

The venues are:

  • Parc Olympique Lyonnais in Lyon with a capacity of 59,186
  • Parc des Princes in Paris with a capacity of 48,583
  • Allianz Riviera in Nice with a capacity of 35,624
  • Stade de la Mosson in Montpellier with a capacity of 32,900
  • Roazhon Park in Rennes with a capacity of 29,614
  • Stade Oceane in Le Havre with a capacity of 25,718
  • Stade du Hainaut in Valenciennes with a capacity of 25,172
  • Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims with a capacity of 21,127
  • Stade des Alpes in Grenoble with a capacity of 20,068

Here are the teams listed by confederation:

Asian Football Confederation

  • Australia
  • China
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Thailand

Confederation of African Football

  • Cameroon
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa

CONCACAF

  • Canada
  • Jamaica
  • United States

CONMEBOL

  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Chile

Oceania Football Confederation

  • New Zealand

UEFA

  • England
  • France (hosts)
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Scotland
  • Spain
  • Sweden

Group A: France, South Korea, Norway, Nigeria

Group B: Germany, China, Spain, South Africa

Group C: Australia, Italy, Brazil, Jamaica

Group D: England, Scotland, Argentina, Japan

Group E: Canada, Cameroon, New Zealand, Netherlands

Group F: USA, Thailand, Chile, Sweden

The competition runs for a month, from June 07 until July 07. Hosts France get the competition under way with their opening group match against South Korea in Paris on Friday June 07. The Super Falcons of Nigeria are drawn in Group A with host France but kick off their campaign against Norway on Saturday June 08 at Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims. Holders the United States will begin the defence of their title against Thailand, ranked 29th in the world, on June 11 at Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims.

The Falcons face Korea Republic in their second game at Stade des Alpes in Grenoble on June 14 and their final group game is against the host – France at Roazhon Park in Rennes on June 17.

The Favorites

Defending champions the United States are the leading favorites. USWNT are seeking a fourth title and are ranked number one in the world. Hosts France is one of the favorites but the French ladies will hope to make beyond the semi-finals of the World Cup for the first time. They are ranked fourth in the world and will aim to replicate the success of the men’s team who won in Russia last year. Olympic champions – Germany are also in contention. Die Nationalelf were semi-finalists at the last edition and are ranked second in the world. World number seven Japan were World Cup winners in 2011 and runners-up in 2015, while European champions the Netherlands could also challenge for the title.

CAF Representative Chances

African champions, Nigeria have attended all the previous editions of the FIFA Women’s World Cup with 1999 quarterfinals berth has the Super Falcons best result in this competition. The 11th time African champions booked their place by winning the African Women’s Championship in Ghana 2018. Coach Thomas Dennerby, a bronze medalist at the 2011 Women’s World Cup will be leading the African queens to France. Dennerby would be expected to guide his team out of a tricky group into the knockout phase at least. The Super Falcons are blessed with talent and experience – captain Desire Oparanozie, Asisat Oshoala, Rasheedat Ajibade and Onome Ebi are some of the stars of this team.

Fellow CAF participant Cameroon impressed the world at the last World Cup where the debutant reached the last 16. Securing a second round ticket from Group E against the likes of Canada, New Zealand and the Netherlands is a tough ask with the expectation from home for this team to replicate Canada 2015 in France. Africa Women’s Championship finalist – South Africa will be appearing at their maiden World Cup. Bayana Bayana ranked 49th in the world are in a tough group against Germany, China and Spain; all their group opponents are ranked higher than them – Germany 2nd in the world, China 16th and Spain 13th. Desiree Ellis team was arguably the best team at the last African championship, playing attractive football therefore it would be wise for their opponents not to underestimate them. Drawing inspiration from Cameroon performance in Canada four years ago, the South Africans may surprise the world.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup has grown since its inception in 1991, we have enjoyed top quality football and one of the highlights has to be the 2011 success of Nadeshiko Japan. The Asian giants beat the United States 3–1 in a penalty shootout, becoming the first Asian team to win the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and the first Asian team to win a senior FIFA title. The Americans dished a deserved revenge in 2015 as we look forward to another exciting edition in France.

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