The draw for next year's women's World Cup is this weekend

October 21, 2022
We’re less than a month out from the men’s World Cup (WC), but it’s all eyes on the women (as it should be) because the draw for next year’s competition is going down this weekend. May the odds be ever in our favor.
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SOURCE: RICHARD HEATHCOTE/GETTY IMAGES
SOURCE: RICHARD HEATHCOTE/GETTY IMAGES

The GIST: We’re less than a month out from the men’s World Cup (WC), but it’s all eyes on the women (as it should be) because the draw for next year’s competition is going down this weekend. May the odds be ever in our favor.

The setup: The 2023 Women’s WC will be the first to feature 32 teams (24 competed in 2019), so, also for the first time, the draw will temporarily be the same as the men’s.

  • Twenty-nine teams have already qualified (plus three placeholders for intercontinental playoff tournament winners) and were divided into four pots based on their current international rankings.
  • Co-host nations Australia and New Zealand landed in Pot 1 (the top pot) along with the defending WC champion USWNT, No. 2 in the world Sweden, No. 3 Germany, No. 4 (and reigning Euro champs) England, No. 5 France and No. 6 Spain.

The draw: Now for the fun part. When the stress draw begins Saturday at 2:30 a.m. ET, teams will be further sorted into eight four-team WC Groups (A through H), determining their opponents for the tourney’s group stage.

  • Hosts New Zealand and Australia have already been placed in Group A and Group B, respectively. From there, the other Pot 1 teams will be randomly assigned Groups C to H. Once all the Pot 1 teams have a group, it’s time for Pot 2, and so on.
  • Countries from the same confederation cannot be placed in the same group, so there’ll be no 2020 Olympics semifinal rematch between the USWNT and CanWNT…at least for the group stage.
  • Now, why all the hype? In short, the draw is a BFD. The stronger your group, the harder it is to advance to the knockout stage — just two of the four teams in each move on. *bites nails*

Zooming out: The WC is the premiere women’s soccer event, and FIFA wants to ensure it gets its fair due. The organization recently rejected a number of TV broadcasting offers for being too low, with Romy Gai, their chief partnerships and media officer, saying yesterday, “We know the opportunity for women’s football is there. Now, together, we need to capture it.” LFG.

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