Soon after FIFA president Gianni Infantino said that the 2023 Women’s World Cup would have 32 teams instead of 24, people started to talk about it.
Would the quality of play go down if another eight countries joined?
The WWC is the best football tournament for women and takes place every four years. It started with 12 countries in 1991. Starting with the tournament in 1999, only 16 teams were allowed to take part, and that number stayed the same for the next four tournaments.
At the 2015 World Cup, it went up to 24 countries, and at this year’s event in Australia and New Zealand, it went up to 32.
When Infantino announced this latest rise for 2019, he was excited about what it would mean for football around the world. Infantino said, “Now, dozens more member associations will put together their women’s football teams knowing they have a good chance of qualifying.”
At the 2023 Women’s World Cup, the Philippines, Ireland, Zambia, Haiti, Vietnam, Portugal, Panama, and Morocco will all be playing for the first time. Six of them have already played. No one has won, though. In fact, the new players haven’t scored a single goal.
So, were those who said “no” right? No, not really.
Haiti, which is ranked 53rd in the world, played England on Saturday. England is ranked fourth and is the current European champion. On paper, England should have won, and they should have won easily. It wasn’t easy, though.
Haiti slowed down the Lionesses’ offence and kept them from scoring the whole game, while also giving them many chances to score on their own.
As the game went on, John Strong, a commentator for Fox Sports, pointed out how rough Haiti was playing.
“The accusation is that you’ll let teams into the World Cup that don’t belong here. Has Haiti shown that they belong?
“He asked Kyndra de St. Aubin, who was one of the other commentators.
She said that Haiti should be in the tournament “100% of the time.” “It’s about how skilled you are with the ball. You can see some of the calm in the way things are touched, how clean they are, and how they move.
I think you can see a lot of things about Haiti that will make them very proud of how they did here “said de St. Aubin. The score was 1-0.
As the women’s game continues to grow, FIFA president Infantino says that soccer’s governing body has a duty to bring the sport to more people around the world and in their own communities.
Infantino said, “The FIFA Women’s World Cup is the most important event for turning women’s football into a professional sport, but it only happens every four years and is just the top of a much bigger pyramid.”
Don’t be surprised if the next Women’s World Cup has even more teams than this one.