Credit…Peter Cziborra/Motion Images Via Reuters
Next summer’s Women’s World Cup in Australia and Latest Zealand might be the primary since FIFA voted to expand the event to 32 teams.
Meaning more places in the sector, more newcomers to the tournament and, helpfully, a far simpler format for the draw and the event itself.
The sector has been sorted into 4 pots for Saturday’s draw.
Those pots might be emptied separately, from Pot 1 to Pot 4, to create eight groups of 4 teams each. Teams from the identical confederation might be kept apart, except Europe, which has 11 teams in the sector in the intervening time (a number that would grow to 12) and might be limited to 2 at most in a single group.
Here’s who has qualified already (29 teams): Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, South Korea, Morocco, Netherlands, Latest Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Philippines, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United States, Vietnam, Zambia.
And listed here are the playoff hopefuls (10 teams, competing for 3 places): Cameroon, Chile, Taiwan (which FIFA refers to as Chinese Taipei), Haiti, Panama, Papua Latest Guinea, Paraguay, Portugal, Senegal, Thailand.
Those 10 teams might be whittled to 3 in a series of playoff games in February.
The fundamental things to recollect as you follow along?
The co-hosts, Australia and Latest Zealand, are locked in to first-round groups that can see them remain of their home countries within the group stage.
The draw procedures are designed to make sure teams from the identical federation are kept apart. So the USA, for instance, can’t be drawn with Canada or Costa Rica on Saturday, but in addition it could theoretically must avoid the playoff winners from Groups B and C, since those groups could produce a qualifier from Concacaf. But since those playoff groups include teams from various federations, and might be unknown on Saturday, it is probably not possible to maintain teams from the identical region apart. FIFA said, though, that no group will include greater than two teams from the identical confederation.
The pots were set based on the October FIFA world rankings, which had the USA at No. 1. The most important change there this month? Spain rose two places, and thus landed in Pot 1 for the draw, while the Netherlands dropped two, falling into Pot 2.
All of the groups will keep teams in a single country or the opposite within the group stage, which was meant to attenuate travel for players, and fans, a minimum of initially.