Fifa Women’s World Cup 2019: All you need to know
France will host the Fifa Women’s World Cup for the first time when the tournament kicks off on 7 June. England and Scotland are among the 24 teams taking part with the final in Lyon on 7 July.
The tournament will be hosted in nine cities and played in nine different venues.
Here’s everything you need to know about this summer’s tournament.
What are the key dates?
The competition runs for a month, from 7 June until 7 July.
Hosts France get the competition under way with their opening group match against South Korea in Paris.
Scotland, who are making their first appearance at the World Cup, will meet England in Nice on 9 June in what is the opening game for both countries.
Holders the United States will begin the defence of their title against Thailand, who are ranked 29th in the world, on 11 June in Reims.
The semi-finals and final are being held in Lyon and will take place from 2 July.
Where will the games be played?
Chelsea were knocked out of the semi-finals of the Women’s Champions League against Lyon at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais in April
There are nine venues in total, including the Parc des Princes – home of Paris St-Germain.
The opening match will take place there, while seven of the venues will host at least three group games.
The semi-finals and final will be held at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais, also know as Groupama Stadium. It has the largest capacity of the venues being used and will hold up to 59,186 fans.
The stadium, which hosted last year’s Europa League final, will also be one of the venues for the 2024 Summer Olympics.
The nine venues
- Parc des Princes, Paris
- Stade Auguste-Delaune, Reims
- Stade des Alpes, Grenoble
- Roazhon Park, Rennes
- Stade du Hainaut, Valenciennes
- Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier
- Allianz Riviera, Nice
- Stade Oceane, Le Havre
- Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Lyon
Who are the favourites?
Group A: France, South Korea, Norway, Nigeria
Group C: Australia, Italy, Brazil, Jamaica
Group D: England, Scotland, Argentina, Japan
Group B: Germany, China, Spain, South Africa
Group E: Canada, Cameroon, New Zealand, Netherlands
Group F: USA, Thailand, Chile, Sweden
Defending champions the United States are seeking a fourth title and are ranked number one in the world.
Hosts France have never gone beyond the semi-finals of the World Cup and have only reached the last eight at the European Championship. However, they are ranked fourth in the world and are hoping to replicate the success of the men’s team, who won in Russia last year.
Olympic champions Germany are also a threat. The side were knocked out in the semi-finals in 2015 – and in the quarter-finals of the European Championship in 2017 – but remain number two 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.
What are the home nations’ chances?
England, who won the SheBelieves Cup for the first time in March, are among the favorites having finished third at the World Cup in 2015.
They are ranked third in the world and beat Japan and Brazil in America earlier this year. They also drew with the United States but suffered a disappointing defeat to Canada in a friendly last month.
Manager Phil Neville said in March he believed this generation of players could go on to “dominate world football”.
Scotland, who are ranked 20th in the world, are competing in their first World Cup but have gone four games unbeaten this year, including a memorable victory over Brazil in a friendly last month.
It was only the second time any Scottish team has beaten Brazil at any level, following a success for the men’s under-20s at the 2017 Toulon Tournament.
On their chances in France, manager Shelley Kerr said: “I don’t think we’re dark horses”.
Which players should you look out for?
Asisat Oshoala. After winning the Fifa Under-20 Golden Ball and Golden Boot in 2014, “Superzee” has not looked back. She has added three African Women’s Footballer of the Year awards, earned moves to Liverpool and Arsenal and now is on loan at Barcelona after an eyebrow-raising move to China. Oshoala scored seven goals in seven league games for Barcelona and contributed to the Spanish side’s journey to the final of the Champions League.
Another Nigerian player to look out for is Onome Ebi. The 36-year old, playing in her fifth World Cup, has aged like fine wine with her impressive strength and steely determination. She may have lost a yard of pace but she makes up for it with her supreme game-reading ability and anticipation. The Henan Huishang defender always knows when to step up from the defence to shut down attackers.