Sixteen nations await their fates

The fates of the 16 teams who will be challenging for the title at this summer's FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Germany will become clear this Thursday at 13.00 CET as the draw for the group stage takes place at Dresden Castle, which will be streamed live on

One of the most remarkable and certainly one of the oldest landmarks in the city, the castle will provide a spectacular backdrop for the event, at which the various participants will learn who they will be up against as they bid to reach the knockout stages.

'A real highlight'
The 16 qualified nations, whose detailed profiles can all be viewed via the menu on the left, will each be hoping for a kind draw as six of the biggest talents in women's football - Yuki Nagasato (Japan), Carol Carioca (Brazil), Adjoa Bayor (Ghana), Alexander Krieger (USA), plus Marie-Louise Bagehorn and Dzsenifer Marozsan (Germany) - randomly select the balls containing the names of the various nations. The ceremony will be led by Tatjana Haenni, FIFA's Head of Women's competitions.

The tournament itself takes place between 13 July and 1 August in the four host cities of Augsburg, Bielefeld, Bochum and Dresden. The teams will be divided into four groups.

"The FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup is a real highlight in the women's international football calendar. As a guest at the last U-20 Women's World Cup in Chile, I was really impressed by the excellent atmosphere in the stadiums and the attacking football played by almost all the teams. I'm convinced that the U-20 Women's World Cup in Germany is going to be a similar success," said Franz Beckenbauer, Chairman of the Organising Committee for the FIFA U-20 and U-17 Women's World Cups.

High-profile guests
Minister President of Saxony Stanislav Tillich will also be present at the castle, as will a number of high-profile representatives from FIFA and some of the associations competing at the finals, and of course Steffi Jones, President of the Local Organising Committee (OC), and Wolfgang Niersbach, General Secretary of the German FA (DFB).

"The draw provides the first opportunity for the OC to show itself as a good host for the most important women's tournament of the year. It's our aim to carry out the draw as smoothly as possible and also to offer a top-class entertainment programme," said former German international and 2003 world champion Jones.