European nations learn opponents in play-offs for final 2023 Women’s World Cup berths

September 9 – Europe’s last contenders for a spot in the 2023 Women’s World Cup have learned their fate in the draw for the playoffs. 

In the draw, Ireland, Iceland and Switzerland were seeded as the three best qualifying group stage runners-up and given a bye into round 2.  The six remaining runners-up will contest three single-leg play-offs in round 1 on October 6. 

The two play-off winners in round 2 with the highest ranking will qualify for the World Cup whereas the third winner will be condemned to the inter-confederation play-offs.

Bosnia & Herzegovina and Wales are featuring in their first play-off for a final tournament while Austria, Iceland, Ireland and Portugal are also aiming for World Cup debuts.

Sweden, Spain, Netherlands, England, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Germany and France have already ensured their presence in Australia and New Zealand next year, the first time the tournament will be played in a 32-team format.

At the 2019 World Cup, Europe provided seven out of the eight quarterfinalists but eventually then European champions the Netherlands lost the final to the United States 2-0. Europe last won the World Cup in 2007 when Germany defeated Brazil 2-0 in the final. 

Round 1 (6 October)

Scotland – Austria 

Wales – Bosnia & Herzegovina

Portugal – Belgium 

Round 2 (11 October)

Portugal/Belgium – Iceland 

Scotland/Austria – Republic of Ireland 

Switzerland – Wales/Bosnia & Herzegovina 

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