The USA meet the Netherlands in the FIFA Women’s World Cup replay final

The USA meet the Netherlands in the FIFA Women’s World Cup replay final


Holders and four-time champions United States meet the Netherlands in the group stage of next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, a repeat of the 2019 final.

Megan Rapinoe’s United States also face debutants Vietnam and a play-off winner at the finals in Australia and New Zealand, following Saturday’s draw in Auckland.

European champions England, joint favorites with the Americans before the tournament, meet China, Denmark and another play-off winner.

Led by veteran striker Rapinoe, USA are at the top of the FIFA rankings and are targeting a third straight crown – after beating the Netherlands 2-0 in the 2019 final.

Germany, Sweden, France and Spain will also have to be kept in mind when the World Cup is staged in ten stadiums in New Zealand and Australia from 20 July to 20 August 2023.

The opening game will be co-hosts New Zealand against ex-champions Norway in Auckland.

With 32 teams – divided into eight groups of four – it will be the biggest FIFA Women’s World Cup since the tournament began in 1991.

Two-time American world champion Carli Lloyd officiated the draw, with former England striker Ian Wright among the helpers, at a ceremony attended by about 800 people at the Aotea Center in Auckland.

The ceremony, which also included England coach Sarina Wiegman and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, began with a nod to the indigenous cultures of New Zealand and Australia.

Ardern calls the 2023 World Cup “the world’s greatest women’s sporting event of all time”.

Fifa President Gianni Infantino criticized TV stations that had offered “100 times less” than the men’s for the transmission of the women’s World Cup.

He accused the television companies of “urging us to do more for equality, and at the same time we will not accept these offers”.

Global interest in the World Cup is expected to be at an all-time high, with women’s football gaining popularity in some countries.

The final of the European Women’s Championship in July between hosts England and rivals Germany at Wembley drew 87,192 spectators, a record for both a men’s and women’s European Championship.

Chloe Kelly scored in extra time to give England a breathless 2-1 win and their first major title in women’s football to a packed house.

Wiegman’s side confirmed that with a 2-1 win over a young US side earlier this month in front of another huge crowd at Wembley Stadium.

While women’s football is booming in countries like England and established in France, some nations are still in their infancy.

The Philippines, Morocco, Republic of Ireland, Vietnam and Zambia are taking part in a Women’s World Cup for the first time.

A play-off tournament in February will decide who fills the remaining three places of the 32.

Australia and New Zealand will each host a semi-final, with the final being played on August 20 at the 83,000 capacity Stadium Australia in Sydney.

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