Another Women’s World Cup is here again, starting on the 20th of July, 2023. Now that FIFA has decided to increase its allure and make more people fall in love with this category, we should see the effect of expanding the number of teams from 24 to 32 like the men’s category, and increasing the prize money from $30 million to $60 million.
Co-host New Zealand will be slugging it out as the first match on the opening day with Norway at Eden Park in Australia, just after the opening ceremony at the same venue. The opening ceremony will feature two artists from both cohost nations performing the tournament’s theme song “Do It Again.” The second match on opening day will see Australia lock horns with Ireland at Stadium Australia in Australia.
Captained by Ali Riley, New Zealand is entering the competition for the sixth time in its history, although they have been ever-present in the competition since 2007. Ali Riley was, interestingly, born in the United States but chose to represent the country where her father was born. She now has over 150 caps and two goals for New Zealand, coming in only behind Ria Percival. Ever since Australia left the Oceania Championship, New Zealand has qualified for the World Cup with ease. This highlights the strength of the Australian squad over the years. New Zealand will be looking to win a match in the World Cup for the very first time.
Norway will be playing for the ninth time, having gone all the way in 1995 where they beat favorites USA to clinch the trophy and inform the world it is possible to win purely out of passion. The team played with their hearts and minds and clinched the trophy as a result. The current national team will be looking to deliver performances of this sort throughout this campaign, spearheaded by elite midfielder Maren Mjelde who was influential in Chelsea’s historic double this season. Emma Hayes decided to slot her in defence due to other player injuries and it worked to devastating effect, creating a defensive solidity that helped Chelsea maintain clean sheets up to the final days of the season. Norway has a chance as long as Maren is in their lineup and will look to help her deliver the performances she is known to offer on the grandest stage of all.
Norway will look to deliver on the decision to pay the men and women equally in a bid to stifle inequality and level the playing and paying ground for all their football players. This will also help young females aspire to go on and make their dreams a reality, which is the idea of the Slay Ballers Campaign. After all, when you know you will get funded for your dream, it makes it more appealing, so why not? Follow the Slay Ballers Campaign for more match previews today.
The stage is set for the action, and all we can do is get our popcorn and vuvuzelas out of our bags. It is time for soccer!