With less than a year to go before the biggest tournament in Worldwide women’s football kicks off, we take a look at the journey so far on the road to Canada 2015!
It is arguably the most important competition in the women’s football calender and no one wants to miss out on a place on the global stage.
Unfortunately, along the journey to this particular tournament, the women’s football community faces a battle that no other (male or female) have had to deal with before – Playing the tournament on artificial pitches. This discussion needs a whole article for itself, so I will not go into detail, but you can read more on this topic here.
Cast your minds back to 2011, Japan won the hearts of the world as they became Women’s World Champions in Germany. The competition had a global impact, the attendances were record breaking and the euphoria of what we witnessed continued over the coming months.
Then anticipation started to build for the 2015 edition. Canada won the right to host the event after the only other bidder Zimbabwe, withdrew in March 2011. Therefore Canada automatically qualify for the competition as the host nation.
For the first time in the FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament history, the number of teams will be expanded from 16 to 24! Lets take a look at who has successfully qualified so far and who are still fighting for the opportunity.
Eight teams have already booked their place in Canada 2015. As mentioned previously, Canada earned an automatic qualifying spot. In May 2014, they were joined by China PR, South Korea, the defending champions Japan, Australia and Thailand. In June 2014, Switzerland became the first team from UEFA to qualify, England became the second in August 2014.
There are sixteen berths still to be filled, 6 are still available for UEFA, 3 for CAF, 3.5 for CONCACAF, 2.5 for CONMEBOL and 1 for OFC.
Copa América Femenina kicks off on 11 September as Colombia, Ecuador, Uruguay, Peru, Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile and Paraguay compete for 2.5 available women’s World Cup qualifying spots.
October is a busy month for FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 qualifiers starting on 11 October the 9th African Women’s Championship will kick off with Namibia, Zambia, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa, Cameroon, Algeria and Ghana competing for 3 qualifying berths.
On 15 October, attention will turn to CONCACAF, with USA, Trinidad and Tobago, Guatemala, Haiti, Costa Rica, Mexico and Jamaica fighting for one of the 3.5 qualifying spots available. Martinique also feature in the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship but will not qualify as they are not FIFA-recognised.
At the end of October the 2014 OFC Women’s Nations Cup will decide who will win the one qualification spot available for Cook Islands, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Tonga.
November will see the conclusion of the UEFA qualifiers and play-off matches and we should then have full confirmation of all the successfully qualified teams!