The Women’s FIFA world cup will commence June 7th in Lyon, France with 24 countries competing for the ultimate prize. The favourites to win are the USA, who will be competing against European teams including England, Germany and France.
Jamaica have become the first Caribbean female team to qualify for a major tournament. Nicknamed the ‘Reggae Girlz’ the Jamaican women were unlikely contenders to make the journey to France after receiving cuts in funding. The team were supported by Bob Marley’s daughter, Cedella Marley throughout their campaign since 2014 after receiving funding cuts from the Jamaican Football Federation , through the Bob Marley foundation , which provides resources to communities and organisations in Jamaica,www.bobmarleyfoundation.org.Cedella has praised the girls stating “I always knew that the players had the talent and the passion it took to make it to the world cup, what they needed were the necessary resources to train and prepare properly”. Their drive has been rewarded with a place in the final twenty-four of the biggest female football tournaments in the world.
Whilst the current title holders, the USA, hope to make this their fourth win,USA Defender Kelley O’Hara has said that the Americans didn’t have any opponents. However, their major rivals Japan who they lost to in 2011 are hoping to make this their second victory.
England will also be present in France with their coach Phil Neville who has managed the team since January 2018 and is hoping to win his first ever major trophy with the ladies after their agonising loss in the 2018 ‘The She Believes Cup’ where they came second. England are currently ranked 3rd in the world and have a strong chance of winning this year’s tournament. Neville’s 23-man squad has already been announced and includes three of Manchester city’s stars Nikita Parris, Karen Bardsey and captain Steph Houghton, who have all been putting in an impressive performance in the women’s super league, the highest league of women’s football in England. Scotland will also be making the journey to France, where they will play England in their opening fixture hoping to win their first ever major title at a women’s football tournament.
With over 150,00 tickets already sold, mainly to French and American buyers anda majority of the cup final tickets sold , this may be the biggest women’s world cup ever. Nike who have worked with women’s world cup since 1995, will be making brand new kit designs for 14 of the 23 teams to wear. This marks a significant change in the history of women’s football as they previously shared the same design as their male counterparts. Nike have also signed a three-year promotion deal with UEFA women’s football as part of a campaign to focus on the growth of women’s sport. FIFA have announced that they will make women’s football a top priority and double female players to 60 million by 2026. As well as reports that the prize money will be increased from $15 million to $30 million.
Friday June 7th, France vs Korea Republic
Saturday 8th June, Germany vs China PR
Saturday 8th June, Spain vs South Africa
Saturday 8th June, Norway vs Nigeria
Sunday 9th June, Australia vs Italy
Sunday 9th, June Brazil vs Jamaica
Sunday 9th June, England vs Scotland
Monday 10th June, Argentina vs Japan
Monday 10th June, Canada vs Cameroon
Tuesday 11th June, New Zealand vs Netherlands
Tuesday 11th June, Chile vs Sweden
Tuesday 11th June, USA vs Thailand
www.FIFA.com for further fixtures
By El-Elyon McWilliams