The Women’s World Cup is just around the corner. So, here’s all the things you need to know before the tournament gets started!

The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 will start on 7th June. This time the tournament is being hosted by France. This is the first time France will be hosting the tournament and the third time Europe will be doing so. The final of the tournament will be played on 7th July at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais, also known as Groupama Stadium. The venue is the home of Ligue 1 side Lyon. This stadium is France’s largest-capacity venue and will be able to hold 59,186 fans.

World Cup groups

24 countries will take in this tournament for claiming the highest honour in international football. The 24 teams will be divided into 6 groups of 4 teams each. The winner and runner-up team of each group will automatically progress to the round of 16. Also, four third-place teams who will accumulate the most points will also advance to the knockout stage.

FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019 groups

Mascot of the World Cup

In France this year, we will have Ettie as the Mascot. According to Fifa, she is the daughter of France 1998 mascot Footix.

FIFA Women’s World Cup on Twitter

Welcome to the team, Ettie! 🙌🐤 Meet the official mascot of the FIFA Women’s World Cup France🇫🇷 2019! And guess what? She’s the daughter of #WorldCup France 1998 mascot Footix! #FIFAWWC #DareToShine https://t.co/cgfRR1kBGe

World Cup fixture :

The matches will be held across 9 cities in the host nation France.
1. Paris: Parc des Princes (48,583 capacity)
2. Montpellier: Stade de la Mosson (32,939)
3. Nice: Stade de Nice (35,100)
4. Valenciennes: Stade du Hainaut (25,172)
5. Lyon: Stade de Lyon (59,186)
6. Reims: Stade Auguste-Delaune (21,029)
7. Le Havre: Stade Océana (25,178)
8. Grenoble: Stade des Alpes (20,068)
9. Rennes: Roazhon Park (29,778)

You can check out the full fixture of the World Cup, by clicking here.

Who are the favourites to win the World Cup?

France

Les Bleues will be expected to pick up on the momentum left behind by the men’s French team, with the host nation eyeing the highest honour in football by winning the tournament on home turf. The French team’s best finish on the world stage was fourth place in the 2011 edition and the side have never progressed past the quarter-final stage of the European Championships. But this time they are looking to go all the way in the tournament. The French side have lost just once in two years prior to June and have beaten the two most recent world champions, Japan and the USA, in the past six months.

USA

USA are the defending champions and world’s top-ranked side. They have never finished lower than third at a World Cup. A dominant run of 32 wins and just one defeat in 38 games going into this tournament suggests the USA are the team to beat once again. Experienced stars such as Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Tobin Heath are expected to guide the team to a potential fourth World Cup win.

Japan

In Germany 2011, Japan turned on the style by sweeping to the final and being crowned world champions after a memorable penalty shoot-out against USA. They are one of the most consistent sides in football. They were the World Cup winners in 2011 and runners-up in 2015. They will be eager to seek revenge on the USA, with the two sides having met in the last two finals.

England

England are arguably a strong contender to go on to win in France in 2019. Despite going out of the 2015 tournament through a devastating last-minute own goal in the semis the side were still able to finish third after beating Germany. England have never had a better chance of becoming world champions, they are third in the Fifa rankings and won this year’s SheBelieves Cup ahead of the USA, Japan and Brazil.

The stars of the World Cup

Brazil will be led by six-time FIFA World Player of the Year and captain Marta in France, where the Selecao will come up against one of the pre-tournament favourites Australia, Jamaica and Italy in Group C. Marta and Brazil were World Cup runners-up in 2007, with the three-time reigning Copa America Femenina champions beaten in the round of 16 four years ago, having reached the 2011 quarter-finals.

Marta

Marta holds the record for most World Cup goals,15 goals ahead of former USA forward Abby Wambach and ex-Germany international Birgit Prinz. “I’m very excited to go to the World Cup.” the 33-year-old said as she discussed her 15 World Cup goals. “This is one more reason to be with all my energy to try to score more goals, this motivates me a lot.” Marta is regarded as the greatest female footballer. She added: “I feel proud to be a reference in what I do, that you can reach children, who have you as an example. When I’m at the pitch I think about all this and try to make my best. My motivation comes from my daily life and then God gives you this gift. My life has always been moved by faith and persistence, and the results came. I share all these awards with my fellow players and with my rivals also because they make me a better player.”

But Norway starlet and the winner of the first ever women’s Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg will not feature for her country in the World Cup. Hegerberg, who scored a hat-trick in Lyon’s recent Champions League final victory, has decided not to take part in a stand against inequality. It is two years since the 23-year-old played for Norway, due to a perceived disregard for women’s football in the country.

Ada Hegerberg

Norway pay their women’s team the same as the men who represent the national team, but “it isn’t always about money” Hegerberg insists. “It’s about attitude and respect. We’re talking about young girls getting the same opportunity as boys – giving them the same opportunity to dream.
If you can change attitudes in the beginning, things will change. The men in the suits can’t ignore that. They are going to understand one day. They are going to understand that this is about society and it’s about modern football.”

Some facts about this World Cup

  • Four teams – Chile, Jamaica, Scotland and South Africa – will make their Women’s World Cup debuts.
  • There is also a debut for VAR after it was used at last summer’s men’s World Cup.
  • Jamaica are the first Caribbean team to ever feature.
  • Brazilian midfielder Formiga could play in her SEVENTH World Cup. At 41, she could become the oldest player to ever feature at the tournament.
  • Barcelona have 13 players at France 2019, a new Women’s World Cup record for a single club.

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