The draw for France 2018 took place on Thursday 8 March
Hosts France to face Ghana, New Zealand and the Netherlands
Holders Korea DPR take on England, Mexico and Brazil
The draw for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018 was held at Rennes Opera House on Thursday 8 March. Tournament hosts and Papua New Guinea 2016 runners-up France face a high-stakes meeting with the Netherlands in the group phase. Les Bleuettes will also feature in the opening match of the competition, when they take on Ghana in Vannes on 5 August.
Defending champions Korea DPR have been drawn against England, Mexico and Brazil, while Japan will take fight it out with USA, Paraguay and Spain for a place in the quarter-finals. Three-time competition winners Germany will take on Haiti, China PR and Nigeria.
The draw was conducted by Sarai Bareman, FIFA’s Chief Women’s Football Officer, and Rhiannon Martin, FIFA’s Senior Competitions Manager. Assisting them were former France international Camille Abily, who made 183 appearances for her country; FIFA Legend Mikael Silvestre, who won 40 caps for France during his career; Damien Seguin, a sailing gold medallist at the Paralympic Games Athens 2004 and Rio 2016; and 15-year-old Aela Mocaer, who plays for local club CPB Brequigny Rennes.
The towns of Vannes, Concarneau, Saint-Malo and Dinan/Lehon will have the pleasure of hosting the competition, which concludes on 24 August. France is also hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™, when Rennes will be among the host cities.
The draw in full
Group A France Ghana New Zealand Netherlands
Group B Korea DPR England Mexico Brazil
Group C USA Japan Paraguay Spain
Group D Haiti China PR Nigeria Germany
Ahead of the draw, there were warm words from some of the senior figures present. FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura said: “I’d like to send my regards and warmly congratulate Haiti, who qualified for their first-ever FIFA women's tournament, on their remarkable road to France. Well done, ladies, for taking this huge step.
"It’s so encouraging to see these young girls pointing the way forward through playing football. For FIFA, increasing the participation of women in football is an imperative. The development of women's football is at at the top of our list of priorities in our strategy 'FIFA 2.0: The Vision for Future'.”
Brigitte Henriques, Vice-President of the LOC, said to those present: “I hope this U-20 Women's World Cup will give you the desire to come back to Brittany and will also reveal some talented youngsters who will be back to play at the senior Women's World Cup on French soil in 2019. For you, and for the ones who will let us dream on the pitch, it’s time to dare to shine.”