May 21 – FIFA experts expect this summer’s Women’s World Cup in France to produce the fastest matches yet at the tournament as established powerhouses will square off with lightweights and debutants in the 24-team tournament.
For major tournaments FIFA establishes a Technical Study Group (TSG) that analyses the tactics and trends of each iteration.
In France the governing body’s TSG will comprise of April Heinrichs (Head, USA), Sun Wen (China PR ), Nadine Kessler (Germany), Élisabeth Loisel (France) and Clémentine Touré (Côte d’Ivoire). They will assess the 52 World Cup matches with a detailed breakdown and distil potential trends from the tournament. Heinrichs, who captained the USA to World Cup glory in 1991 and coached the US women’s national team to gold at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, will lead the panel.
“I think this is going to be the fastest Women’s World Cup ever if you consider how transitions from defence to attack, or from in possession to out of possession, will be executed from a technical and tactical point of view,” said Henrichs (pictured).
“We can expect to see plenty of adjustments, and in the end I believe that tactical decision-making will be very important. The teams will be taking the initiative, playing proactive football, and trying to win and score as many goals as possible.”
At the previous World Cup in Canada in 2015, some group games were still rather slow as 24 teams participated for the first time, but the TSG’s report noted that “the gap between the team is now smaller than ever before” and that “72% of all matches either ended in a draw or were decided by a single goal.” Japan and the USA disputed the final with the Americans running out 5-2 winners.
The TSG will also decide the player awards at the end of the World Cup, including the tournament’s standout player. France will stage the final from June 7 to July 7 across nine host cities. Lyon will host both semi-finals and the final.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1594397316labto1594397316ofdlr1594397316owedi1594397316sni@o1594397316fni1594397316