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FIFA Announces Slots Allocation for 2023 Women's World Cup, Cancels 2021 Men's U-21, U-17 World Cups

FIFA logo (Photo Credit: Reuters)

FIFA logo (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Hosts Australia and New Zealand will automatically qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, and their slots have been taken directly from the quotas allocated to their confederations.

The Bureau of the FIFA Council has announced that they have taken several important decisions concerning upcoming FIFA competitions, including the slot allocation for the 2023 FIFA World Cup and cancellation of the 2021 editions of the men’s FIFA U-20 World Cup and FIFA U-17 World Cup.

Last year, after the amazing success of the Women’s World Cup it was decided to expand the competition to a 32-team event to 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:

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.

The two host countries, Australia and New Zealand will automatically qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, and their slots have been taken directly from the quotas allocated to their confederations, namely the AFC and the OFC respectively.

Play-off tournament slot allocation (3)

The three remaining slots will be decided through a ten-team playoff tournament with the following play-off slot allocation:

  • 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 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 playoff tournament.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bureau of the FIFA Council has decided to cancel the 2021 editions of the men’s FIFA U-20 World Cup and FIFA U-17 World Cup, and to appoint Indonesia and Peru respectively, who were due to host the tournaments in 2021, as the hosts of the 2023 editions.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present challenges for the hosting of international sporting events and to have a restrictive effect on international travel. FIFA has therefore regularly consulted the relevant stakeholders, including the host member associations as well as the confederations involved in both tournaments originally scheduled to take place in 2021.

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