Everything to know about the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup
Photographer: Getty Images
As the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup nears and the Matildas, Australia’s national women’s football team, gears up to represent the country in France, we thought a refresher on all you need to know ahead of the highly-anticipated quadrennial tournament was in order.
With the international football championship slated to kick off on June 7, read on for how you can watch the FIFA Women’s World Cup from Australia, what time you need to tune in to see the Matildas play, which countries they need to beat in order to advance to the quarter-finals and why you should be showing your support for our national team.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup is an international football championship that has taken place every four years since its inception in 1991. Women’s national teams of the member associations of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) compete to qualify in the tournament, before 24 teams are selected and split up into six groups of four teams, based on their FIFA World Ranking.
Throughout the course of the month-long football championship, the top two teams from each group, together with the four best third-placed teams advance from the group phase to the knockout phase kicked off by round 16. This is followed by the quarter-final, semi-final and final, where the winner is decided after a total of 52 matches. The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup will also be used by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to qualify three teams for the 2020 Summer Olympics, which is slated to take place in Japan.
Now in its eighth edition, the FIFA Women’s World Cup has seen a number of national teams take home the prestigious international title. In 1991 the first cup, which was hosted in China, was won by the USA. Hosted in Sweden, the 1995 cup was won by Norway, before the USA hosted and won again in 1999. The USA hosted for the second time in a row in 2003, Germany won that edition and the following, which was held in China in 2007. In 2011, Japan won in Germany, and in 2015, the USA won for the third time in Canada.
Every four years, countries nominate themselves as hosts, before one is selected based on a criteria that covers everything from cost efficiency and the support of the football community, to the country’s existing infrastructure and potential for promotion. In its inaugural year, the FIFA Women’s World Cup was hosted by China, followed by Sweden in 1995, USA in 1999 and 2003, China again in 2007, Germany in 2011 and finally Canada in 2015.
In 2015, it was announced that France would host the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. While this is the country’s first time hosting the championship, France is no stranger to welcoming international football tournaments, having hosted the FIFA World Cup twice. The nine French cities selected to host matches include Montpellier, Nice, Valenciennes, Paris, Lyon, Reims, Le Havre, Grenoble, and Rennes.
The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup is slated to take place from June 7 to July 7. Host France will take on Korea Republic on June 7, kicking off the group phase, before the quarter-finals take place from June 27-29, the semi-finals from July 2-3, the match for third place on July 6, and the final on July 7. Australia’s national women’s team, the Matildas, will play for the first time when they face Italy in Valenciennes on June 9.
On free-to-air TV, SBS will be broadcasting the opening match, all games played by the Matildas, the quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final. However, the only place to watch all 52 matches will be via Optus Sport. Thankfully, if you’re not an Optus customer, for a small fee you can sign up to a 30-day subscription via the app for access to both live streaming and on-demand sport. Optus Sport has also announced that school-aged children will have free access for the duration of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
A total of 24 national women’s teams of the member associations of FIFA qualified for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. These teams are set to represent the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China PR, England, France, Germany, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Korea Republic, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, and the USA.
Australia’s national women’s football team the Matildas, formerly known as the female Socceroos, qualified for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup following their performance in the 2018 AFC Asian Women’s, where they reached the semi-finals. With a FIFA World Ranking of six, the Matildas were drawn into Group C, and are slated to verse Brazil, Italy and Jamaica. In the history of the tournament, the Matildas have represented Australia in six out of seven FIFA Women’s World Cups, and have only ever progressed as far as the quarter-finals. This year, the national team coached by Ante Milicic and captained by Sam Kerr, is made up of 23 players ranging from 16 to 34 years of age.
Tickets to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup are on sale now, and you can secure yours here. Individuals can purchase single tickets to each of the 52 matches set to take place, or choose from a selection of packages that differ depending on the host city and number of games you wish to attend.