British women to combine as GB at Tokyo 2020; if England qualify via France 2019

October 2 – Despite resisting the idea in the past over misplaced beliefs that they could lose their independence within FIFA, Britain’s four football associations have agreed to allow a combined women’s team to try to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

England, ranked third in the world, have been nominated to try and claim one of the three European spots available at the 2019 women’s World Cup in France. This would then be handed to Team GB for the Olympics.

FIFA says the agreement applied only to the GB women’s team and not the men who paraded a united team at an Olympic Games for the first time since 1972 when they featured at London 2012.

A UK women’s team made their Olympic debut on home soil in 2012 but no combined British team featured at Rio 2016 with the associations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales opposed to the idea.

The FIFA competitions committee also approved the procedures for the 2019 Women’s World Cup draw, which takes place in Paris on December 8. There will be four pots of six teams, with teams allocated to each pot according to their FIFA ranking. Teams from the same confederation will be kept apart, except for three of the nine European sides in the draw.

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