With 391 days to go until the opening match of the sixth FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off on 26 June 2011, the three qualifiers from the Asian Zone have already been decided. Australia, Korea DPR and Japan, three of the leading nations in women’s football, became the first teams to qualify for the tournament, which will be held in Germany next year. In the final of the Asian Championship, Australia beat Korea DPR 5-4 on penalties in Chengdu, China, while Japan secured their place with a 2-0 victory over China in the match for third place.
Steffi Jones, President of the Organising Committee for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011™, congratulated the presidents of the three associations in a personal letter. "The tournament is beginning to take shape with the qualification of these first three foreign nations and I’d like to take this opportunity even at this early stage to welcome all three to Germany. It’s our goal to be the best hosts we possible can be, just as we were at the men’s World Cup in 2006. Australia, Korea DPR and Japan are established women’s football nations who are all capable of challenging for the title in 2011."
While Japan have taken part in all five previous FIFA Women’s World Cups, Steffi Jones congratulated Australia’s Matildas on securing their fifth qualification. Korea DPR will be for the fourth time at the biggest event in women’s football.
The full list of 16 qualified nations will be confirmed on 27 November, two days before the draw for the finals in Frankfurt. Germany qualify automatically as hosts.
The number of teams taking part in the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011 from each confederation are as follows:
• Asia (AFC): 3 teams
• Africa (CAF): 2 teams
• North & Central America and Caribbean (CONCACAF): 2.5 teams *
• South America (CONMEBOL): 2 teams
• Oceania (OFC): 1 team
• Europe (UEFA) : 4.5 teams *
• Hosts: Germany
* The third-placed team in CONCACAF will contest a play-off tie against the fifth-placed UEFA team to decide the final participant for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011.