It’s France 2019, the 8th edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup which is the biggest stage in the world when it comes to Female football. Female football doesn’t get as much coverage as the Male version and quite a number of people aren’t even aware of the tournament coming up this summer. This is why I have decided to bring it closer to people’s attention. Women play football too and very well at that!
It is 14 days countdown to the tournament. This summer’s competition will be kicking off on June 7th with the final game scheduled for 7th of July at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais, France’s largest capacity football stadium. It will feature 24 teams divided into six groups and 52 matches in all.
Traditional heavyweights Germany and the United States Women National Team will be looking to continue their dominance while outsiders like England and Brazil will once again go in search of a maiden success in the event. The United States Women National Team are heavy and odds-on favorites to retain the title for the first time in their history after their triumph in the last edition while perennial favorites Germany will be looking to put recent disappointment in the competition behind them to return the top of Female football.
Host nation France will be harboring hopes of emulating their male counterparts by winning the competition on home soil and securing their first major international Trophy. The thought of one country holding both titles simultaneously and the prospect of doing so on home soil should be enough motivation. They have been placed in a relatively kind group with only Norway who will be without Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg (who retired from the National team in 2017 after being frustrated with the way women’s football was treated in Norway) likely to pose any serious threat to their dominance of the group A. South Korea and the Super Falcons of Nigeria complete the group.
Germany should have no problem topping Group B after being paired with fellow Europeans Spain as well as China and debutants South Africa. Nevertheless, football is a game of surprises, anything can happen.
Group C is one of the tightest with three main contenders. Australia, Brazil and Italy and newcomers Jamaica will slug it out in the group. The key game is likely to the Australia-Brazil game on 13th of June which could well decide who tops the group and their respective futures in the tournament. Italy are back in the finals for the first time in 20 years and will be looking to do more than just to complete the numbers.
Group D is another exciting one with Auld rivals England and Scotland paired alongside Argentina and beaten finalists in the 2015 edition in Canada, Japan. Lioness Boss Phil Neville will be hoping to deliver the same kind of hope the male team gave English fans in Russia 2018 with chants of “…it’s coming home” becoming popular during the Three Lion’s run deep into the competition. This group appears on paper at least to be technically the most difficult group.
Group E features Canada, Cameroon, New Zealand and Netherlands. Netherlands made their debut in the tournament just four years ago where they also faced Canada and have since gone ahead to become European champions. They are rapidly growing side and will fancy their chances of winning the group.
In group F, the defending champions USWNT will face familiar foes in Sweden in a battle for supremacy on the last match day in the pool. The defending champions should be able to negotiate a fairly straightforward group successfully as they look to emulate Germany and retain the title for the first time in their history and Jill Ellis’ side are more than capable of winning a record 4th World Cup. Thailand and Chile, one of the four debutants in the competition complete the group.
The winner and runner-up of each group will automatically progress to the round of 16. The four third-places to accumulate the most points will also advance to the knockout stage along with the group winners and second-place finishers.
|Jun 7||France vs South Korea||8pm||Parc des Princes, Paris|
|Jun 8||Norway vs Nigeria||2pm||Stade Auguste-Delaune, Reims|
|Jun 12||Nigeria vs South Korea||2pm||Stade des Alpes, Grenoble|
|Jun 12||France vs Norway||8pm||Allianz Riviera, Nice|
|Jun 17||Nigeria vs France||8pm||Roazhon Park, Rennes|
|Jun 17||South Korea vs Norway||8pm||Stade Auguste-Delaune, Reims|
|Jun 8||Spain vs South Africa||5pm||Stade Oceane, Le Havre|
|Jun 8||Germany vs China PR||8pm||Roazhon Park, Rennes|
|Jun 12||Germany vs Spain||5pm||Stade du Hainaut, Valenciennes|
|Jun 13||South Africa vs China PR||8pm||Parc des Princes, Paris|
|Jun 17||South Africa vs Germany||5pm||Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier|
|Jun 17||China PR vs Spain||5pm||Stade Oceane, Le Havre|
|Jun 9||Australia vs Italy||12pm||Stade du Hainaut, Valenciennes|
|Jun 9||Brazil vs Jamaica||2:30pm||Stade des Alpes, Grenoble|
|Jun 13||Australia vs Brazil||5pm||Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier|
|Jun 14||Jamaica vs Italy||8pm||Stade Auguste-Delaune, Reims|
|Jun 18||Jamaica vs Australia||8pm||Stade des Alpes, Grenoble|
|Jun 18||Italy vs Brazil||8pm||Stade du Hainaut, Valenciennes|
|Jun 9||England vs Scotland||5pm||Allianz Riviera, Nice|
|Jun 10||Argentina vs Japan||5pm||Parc des Princes, Paris|
|Jun 14||Japan vs Scotland||2pm||Roazhon Park, Rennes|
|Jun 14||England vs Argentina||5pm||Stade Oceane, Le Havre|
|Jun 19||Japan vs England||8pm||Allianz Riviera, Nice|
|Jun 19||Scotland vs Argentina||8pm||Stade du Hainaut, Valenciennes|
|Jun 10||Canada vs Cameroon||8pm||Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier|
|Jun 11||New Zealand vs Netherlands||2pm||Stade Oceane, Le Havre|
|Jun 15||Netherlands vs Cameroon||5pm||Stade du Hainaut, Valenciennes|
|Jun 15||Canada vs New Zealand||8pm||Stade des Alpes, Grenoble|
|Jun 20||Netherlands vs Canada||5pm||Stade Auguste-Delaune, Reims|
|Jun 20||Cameroon vs New Zealand||5pm||Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier|
|Jun 11||Chile vs Sweden||5pm||Roazhon Park, Rennes|
|Jun 11||USWNT vs Thailand||8pm||Stade Auguste-Delaune, Reims|
|Jun 16||USWNT vs Chile||2pm||Parc des Princes, Paris|
|Jun 16||Sweden vs Thailand||5pm||Allianz Riviera, Nice|
|Jun 20||Sweden vs USWNT||8pm||Stade Oceane, Le Havre|
|Jun 20||Thailand vs Chile||8pm||Roazhon Park, Rennes|
We look forward to a very exciting tournament with top-quality football from the ladies!
Photo Credit : fifa.com