Women’s 2023 World Cup


Millie Simons gives a run down on what to expect in the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup.

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By Millie Simon

THE 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup runs from 20 July to 20 August and is being jointly held in Australia and New Zealand.

The tournament will be an opportunity for well-established teams to extend their titles, but also newly qualified teams and young players will be hoping for a promising summer after FIFA increased their qualifying teams from 24 to 32.

The qualified 32 teams are randomly grouped into fours and, during the group stage, will play the remaining three teams, with the top two teams in each group continuing to the knockout stage.

The knockout stage – as suggested by the name – will see teams compete in a single-elimination style. The quarter-finals will include eight teams competing before the semi-finals, where only four teams will be playing for a spot in the final playing in Australia at the Sydney Olympic Stadium on 20 August.

The USA are current favourites to win, having won the previous competition four years ago in France. The usual suspects – England, France, Japan, and Germany – are expected to perform well.

However, it’s Zambia’s team that have particularly caught my eye. Nick-named the ‘Copper Queens’, the Zambian women’s squad will enter into their first ever FIFA Women’s WorldCup and will be the first landlocked country in Africa to qualify for either the women’s or men’s game.

Hazel Nali, the Zambian goalkeeper, proved to be an essential part of the team when she scored the winner in a penalty shootout against Senegal in July last year to secure a place in the World Cup. Speaking to FIFA before the tournament, the Zambian coach, BruceMwape, said he appreciated that Zam-bia’s opponents are more experienced with high-profile tournaments but does not believe the squad should be viewed as underdogs and can in fact“challenge any team.”

Elsewhere, it’s important to note the home advantage of tournament hosts. The familiarity of pitches and the increased number of fans supporting in the stadium is something the Australian and New Zealand teams are familiar with. It is an advantage England knows all too well following the huge swell of support they experienced during their European Championship victory in 2022. The tournament will be an opportunity for young players to play an integral role in representing their country. Katie Robinson, England international and Brighton and Hove Albion forward, has secured a place in the England squad at the age of only 20.

After having recently recovered from a serious knee injury, Robinson has played in all 11 WSL games for Brighton in the 22/23 domestic season. She has been an essential part of Brighton’s team and will be a key player to watch in the World Cup.

Supporters are excited for the World Cup to kick off in July, and after a fight over broadcasting rights, because FIFA didn’t feel they were offered enough, it has just been confirmed that viewers will be able to watch it from the UK, promoting a summer of sport.