11 Things You Need To Know About The FIFA Womens World Cup
The FIFA Women’s World Cup is just around the corner, and we’re starting to get excited! The Women’s World Cup has grown in stature over the last decade. It’s now an integral part of the football calendar. For those of you with your eyes glued to the men’s game, let’s take a look at the women’s alternative. Today we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the FIFA Women’s World Cup. In fact, we’ve got exactly 11 nuggets of information for you.
- It starts on the 6th June – And it runs for a full month, with the final taking place on the 5th July. Just like the men’s World Cup, we are treated to a full month’s worth of world class coverage.
- Canada are hosting – Yes, the cold, northern part of the world is playing host to this year’s event. They beat off competition from Zimbabwe for the rights. Unfortunately, Zimbabwe withdrew soon after starting the campaign. The world’s media are slowly heading to Montreal, Vancouver and the various other host cities.
- It is the 7th World Cup – The FIFA Women’s World Cup has run since 1991. China hosted the inaugural event, where USA won the first trophy.
- The Trophy is currently touring Canada – As has become tradition in the football world, the World Cup trophy is on tour. The trophy bearers are taking it from coast to coast across Canada. From the French territories in the east, over the rocky mountains and finishing in Vancouver.
- Japan are the current trophy holders – The previous event, in 2011, was won by Japan. They beat the USA on penalties after a 2-2 draw. It made them the first Asian team to win a FIFA World Cup trophy.
- Norway, Germany and USA are the other previous winners – Germany and the USA have both won the competition twice. Norway took victory in 1995 in their neighbouring country, Sweden.
- It’s bigger than ever before – This year, FIFA have opened the gates to 24 teams. It matches the current men’s World Cup and allows a much broader spectrum of football. The previous years have only had 16 teams competing.
- North Korea are banned – In a first-of-its-kind scenario, North Korea were banned from the event. Many players were found to have taken performance enhancing substances. The discovery was made during the 2011 tournament, and they have not been invited back!
- USA are favourites – According to bookmakers around the country, USA are odds-on favourites. Having said that, Germany are currently the top ranked team, according to FIFA statistics. Japan will be eager to repeat last tournament’s success while host nation Canada will have the crowd on their side.
- The top three teams qualify for the Olympics. – In a departure from the men’s tournament, the top three teams will automatically qualify for the Olympic Games. Except England, who are not an Olympic country and are therefore exempt.
- The official mascot is a great white owl.
There you have it, folks! A complete guide to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Put it in your calendar and enjoy a month of quality football!