FIFA draws groups for 10-team Australia/New Zealand 2023 play-offs

October 17 – Portugal will have to defeat Cameroon or Thailand to ensure their presence at the 2023 Women’s World Cup following the draw for the playoffs, which will decide the final three spots for the global finals. 

The Portuguese, who eliminated Belgium and Iceland from the European playoffs, were drawn in group A alongside Cameroon, who defeated Botswana in a crunch qualifier in the CAF region, and Thailand.

In Group B, Chile were given a bye and will play the winner of Senegal vs Haiti for a World Cup ticket. In Group C, Chinese Taipei, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay and Panama will play for the right to play the best in the world.

If Portugal qualifies, Europe will once again have a strong presence in the World Cup and they will be favourites to progress to the main draw.

At the 2019 World Cup, Europe provided seven out of the eight quarter finalists 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.

At the start of 2023, New Zealand will host the intercontinental playoffs to decide the last three World Cup finalists after a drawn-out qualification tournament.  The ten-team format will also serve as a test run for the co-hosts.

New Zealand and Australia will co-host the 2023 Women’s World Cup, the first-ever finals to feature 32 participants. In 2019, France staged a bumper edition of the competition, which led the world federation FIFA to expand the tournament.

Haiti, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Portugal and Senegal have never played at a Women’s World Cup.

Groups: 

Group A: Portugal, Cameroon, Thailand

Group B: Chile, Haiti, Senegal

Group C: Chinese Taipei, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Panama

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