Juliet Nalukenge and Fauzia Najjemba celebrate after scoring a goal for Uganda

Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) has on Thursday confirmed the allocation of slots for the expanded Women’s World Cup.

It should be noted that this year, FIFA took a decision to expand the quadrennial tournament from 24 to 32 participants, starting with the next edition slated for 2023.

In the Bureau of the FIFA Council held today, confirmation of how each Confederation will be allocated on the 32 slots was made.

“Following the amazing success of the 2019 edition, the decision was taken last year to expand the FIFA Women’s World Cup to 32 teams and thus continue to foster the growth of women’s football. FIFA has since worked closely with the confederations to formulate a proposal for the allocation of slots and the Bureau of the FIFA Council has today confirmed the following berths for the 2023 edition” Reads a statement from the FIFA Website.

Of the 32 slots, 29 will be competed for directly. This includes the two already taken by the joint hosts for the 2023 edition, Australia and New Zealand.

The remaining three slots will be competed against by all the six Confederations in a play off tournament.

Direct slot allocation (29 of the 32 participation slots)

  • 6 direct slots for the AFC;
  • 4 direct slots for CAF;
  • 4 direct slots for Concacaf;
  • 3 direct slots for CONMEBOL;
  • 1 direct slot for the OFC; and
  • 11 direct slots for UEFA.

Play-off tournament slot allocation (3)

  • 2 play-off slots for the AFC;
  • 2 play-off slots for CAF;
  • 2 play-off slots for Concacaf;
  • 2 play-off slots for CONMEBOL;
  • 1 play-off slot for the OFC; and
  • 1 play-off slot for UEFA.

Play-off tournament format

Four teams will be seeded in the tournament based on the latest FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking prior to the play-off draw, with a maximum of one seeded team per confederation.

  • In Group 1, comprising three teams, seed 1 will play for a place in the FIFA Women’s World Cup against the winners of the knockout game involving the two unseeded teams in the group.

  • In Group 2, comprising three teams, seed 2 will play for a place in the FIFA Women’s World Cup against the winners of the knockout game involving the two unseeded teams in the group.

  • In Group 3, comprising four teams, seeds 3 and seed 4 will play against the two unseeded teams in the group, with the two winners then playing for a place in the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Teams from the same confederation will not be permitted to be drawn in the same group.

The play-off tournament will be used as a test event in Australia and New Zealand for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and both hosts will be invited to participate in friendly matches against the teams in Group 1 and Group 2, thereby ensuring that all teams play two matches during the play-off tournament.

At last the last edition held in France (2019), Africa was represented by Cameroon, South Africa and Nigeria.

Joel Muyita

Joel Muyita is a senior staff writer at Kawowo Sports.

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