Long journey to global glory to begin in Europe

15 Sep 2021
  • 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualification begins in Europe and Asia this week

  • Global qualification will conclude with the new intercontinental ten-team play-off tournament

  • Australia & New Zealand 2023 will be the first 32-team Women’s World Cup

The long road to the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™ will commence on Thursday, just under two years until the next world champion is decided in Sydney.

The qualification campaign will open in Europe with concurrent kick-offs for matches in Denmark (Viborg), Norway (Oslo) and Turkey (Alanya). Asia will begin their qualifiers on Friday when Mongolia face Korea Republic in neutral Uzbekistan.

A record number of nations are scheduled to play nearly 500 matches as part of the qualification process for the newly-expanded 32-nation tournament. Qualification is currently scheduled to conclude in February 2023 with the new intercontinental ten-team play-off tournament. The play-off tournament will double as a test event for the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

FIFA.com looks at the qualification schedule for the six continents as things currently stand.

UEFA : September 2021 – October 2022; Direct slots 11; Play-off tournament slots 1 UEFA’s nine group winners qualify for Australia & New Zealand 2023. The nine runners-up advance to the UEFA play-offs with the two best teams qualifying for Australia & New Zealand 2023, and the third team to feature in the intercontinental play-off tournament.

AFC: September 2021 – February 2022 ; Direct slots 6 (including Australia) ; Play-off tournament slots 2

Eight qualifying stage group winners will join Japan, Australia, China PR and hosts India in the 12-nation 2022 AFC Women's Asian Cup. The top five teams, excluding Australia, will claim AFC’s five direct slots, with two further nations to participate in the intercontinental play-off tournament.

CAF: October 2021 – July 2022 ; Direct slots 4 ; Play-off tournament slots 2

Two home and away knockout stage rounds will determine the 11 nations to join hosts Morocco in the 2022 CAF Women's Africa Cup of Nations. The top four teams will qualify for Australia & New Zealand 2023, with two further nations to participate in the intercontinental play-off tournament.

Concacaf: November 2021 – July 2022 ; Direct slots 4 ; Play-off tournament slots 2

The six qualifying stage group winners will qualify for the eight-nation 2022 Concacaf W Championship. The top four teams will qualify for Australia & New Zealand 2023, with two further nations to participate in the intercontinental play-off tournament.

CONMEBOL: July 2022; Direct slots 3; Play-off tournament slots 2 The CONMEBOL Copa America Femenina is currently scheduled for July 2022. The top three teams will qualify for Australia & New Zealand 2023, with two further nations to participate in the intercontinental play-off tournament.

OFC: July 2022 ; Direct slots 1 (including New Zealand) ; Play-off tournament slots 1

The ten-nation 2022 OFC Women's Nations Cup is currently scheduled for July 2022. The highest ranked team will participate in the intercontinental play-off tournament.

Australia and New Zealand qualify automatically as hosts.