The Big Question… What teams will be competing at the Algarve Cup 2016?
It’s one of mine and many other football fans’ favourite international friendly competition, The Algarve Cup, and excitement is already building in anticipation for the 2016 edition as thoughts turn to who will be competing?
With the busy Rio 2016 qualifying schedule and rumours of non-competing teams, are we lining up for a disappointment?
What teams will be competing at the Algarve Cup 2016? It’s one of the most common questions I am hearing at the moment and one that I can not give an answer to until the Portuguese Football Federation make an official announcement.
However, looking at the women’s football calender ahead, it appears the 2016 edition will be without many of its regular and popular contenders. There has even been a suggestion that the current holders USA will not be attending, (please don’t be true!).
The Algarve Cup generally takes place around the same time every year, give or take a few days. We believe that the 2016 edition is scheduled between 1-9 March. Although this is from a reliable source and the dates fit into when the tournament is normally played, as far as I know there has been no official report from FPF yet.
So with those dates in mind, we can already rule out Sweden (appeared in EVERY Algarve Cup so far…), Netherlands, Norway (appeared in EVERY Algarve Cup so far…) and Switzerland (made their first Algarve Cup appearance last year) from the 2016 Algarve Cup as they will all be competing in a ‘mini’ Rio 2016 qualifying tournament to fight for the last remaining European berth. The fixtures are scheduled for the 2 to 9 March 2016 so you can clearly see, even if the Algarve Cup was moved to the end of February, it would be near impossible for these teams to travel to Portugal. Germany and France qualified as the top ranked UEFA teams in the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015, so they should be able to make another Algarve Cup appearance.
The news does not get any better when we look towards the final AFC qualifiers for the Rio 2016 Olympics and see the final round of matches, which include recent regular Algarve Cup participants Japan, as well as China PR (appeared in all Algarve Cup editions except the first two), Australia, DPR Korea, Korea Republic and Vietnam. The top two teams from this final round, scheduled for February/March 2016 will qualify for the Olympics.
The CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship is scheduled to be played from 10 to 21 February 2016 in USA. The top two teams will qualify for Rio 2016. This makes the schedule very tight for the reigning Algarve Cup champions but not impossible… However, a source from the Portugal Football Federation has communicated that USA will not come to Algarve Cup 2016! Again, this has not been officially confirmed. Hopefully, there will be an announcement either way as soon as possible as it is important information for travelling fans. Personally I hope it is not true and USA are able to compete, but you can understand why they may not be able to as the World Champions focus on defending their Olympic Gold medals.
Brazil, who made their Algarve Cup debut last year, would be available for the 2016 edition as they have already qualified for the Olympics along with Colombia.
Algarve Cup regulars I think won’t attend 2016 edition due to Olympic qualifiers:
Algarve Cup 2016 doubt:
– Although the Olympic qualifying dates just about fit, it could be too much of a tight schedule and with reports from a reliable source in Portugal that they are not attending, this has cast a major doubt.
So, I can not yet give you a confirmed list of 2016 Algarve Cup competing teams, but hopefully this blog will shed some light on which of our tournament regulars look most likely not to be able to attend.
A quick thought towards potential 2016 competitors, you could say Germany, France, Brazil, Denmark, Iceland, Portugal, but I guess I will just have to patiently wait to see who does officially make up the Algarve Cup 2016 line-up!
Rounding up the women’s football news, rumours and action we have witnessed from all around the world.