The long wait is over. On Monday evening, 29 November 2010, each of the 16 FIFA Women's World Cup 2011™ participants finally found out who they will be up against in the group stages of next year's tournament. Over 600 guests attended the event at the Frankfurt Congress Centre, where each team's fate was revealed during a glittering 45-minute show.
There was plenty of excitement about Group C, in which the USA, Korea DPR, Sweden and Colombia will be battling it out for a place in the quarter-finals. Hosts Germany face Canada, Nigeria and France in Group A, which kicks off on 26 June with the tournament's opening match between Silvia Neid's reigning champions and Canada at the Berlin Olympiastadion. Needless to say, there was plenty of enthusiasm among the German delegation in the audience.
In Group B, Japan, New Zealand, Mexico and England will all fancy their chances of a top-two berth and subsequent place in the knockout stages, while Group D also had tongues wagging as Brazil, Australia, Norway and Equatorial Guinea were all drawn in the same section.
Overview of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2011 groups:
Monday evening's show also provided the LOC with the ideal opportunity to generate yet more enthusiasm for next year's festival of women's football. Legendary German international Günter Netzer and top model and women's football ambassador Adriana Karembeu conducted the draw, with FIFA Head of Women's Competitions Tatjana Haenni hosting the event. German pop-rock band Wir Sind Helden provided the entertainment on a thoroughly enjoyable evening for all those in attendance.
"The Women’s World Cup in Germany will help women’s football to take another step forward," said Worawi Makudi, FIFA Executive Committee member and Chairman of the Committee and FIFA World Cup, while Steffi Jones, President of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) could hardly wait for Germany's first-ever FIFA Women's World Cup to start: "For two and a half years we have been looking forward to hosting this World Cup. With this tournament, we want to make history.”