July 5 – New Zealand has been chosen to host the first ever women’s World Cup Play-off tournament, taking place in the cities of Hamilton and Auckland between February 17-23 next year.
The event will consist of 10 teams competing for the final three spots in the Women’s World Cup, which will be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand in July the same year.
“The Playoff Tournament … will provide fans of all ages the opportunity to watch nations from around the world vie for the final three qualification spots as the excitement continues to build towards FIFA Women’s World Cup,” said FIFA’s Chief Women’s Football Officer Sarai Bareman.
Thailand and Taiwan have already booked their places to the play offs, with the remaining eight teams qualifying through their respective continental tournaments that are being played this summer.
The play-off announcement follows FIFA’s decision to increase the number of teams competing in the Women’s World Cup from 24 to 32 from 2023 as interest in women’s football continues to grow.
FWWC2023 New Zealand COO Jane Patterson says Kiwis will look forward to welcoming the teams and fans from across the globe.
“It will provide FIFA, host cities, stadiums, training sites and government the opportunity to test readiness of operations, infrastructure and resources,” Patterson said.
“Organising a competition the size and scale of the FIFA Women’s World Cup is a hugely exciting opportunity, so to host the Play-Off Tournament and test readiness will be a real asset.”
China, Japan, South Korea, Philippines, Vietnam, France, Spain, Sweden and Denmark have already secured their place at next year’s finals.
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