Sixteen nations await their fate

The 16 participating nations in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Japan 2012 will find out their opponents on Monday as the tournament draw takes place in Tokyo.

Home to the reigning FIFA Women’s World Cup™ champions following last year’s breakthrough success in Germany, Japan will be a fitting host for FIFA’s premier women’s youth tournament, which will be staged between 19 August and 8 September.

The 32-match, 21-day tournament will be held in five venues, namely, Hiroshima, Kobe, Miyagi, Saitama and Tokyo.

16 teams are drawn into four groups of four, with representatives of the competing nations, plus a host of star names, in attendance to witness the path to World Cup glory unfold.

Assisting with the draw will be four feted members of Japan’s FIFA Women’s World Cup-winning team; Homare Sawa, Kozue Ando, Azusa Iwashimizu and Saki Kumagai. Also on hand, providing additional colour and star-factor, will be popular Japanese pop artist Nogizaka 46.

Much focus will of course be on the draw for the host nation and the spotlight is also certain to fall on the pathway handed to USA and Germany, with the pair having each won two of the five previous tournaments held.

Other nations eagerly watching proceedings will be China PR, former champions Korea DPR and Korea Republic (AFC); Italy, Norway and Switzerland (UEFA); Canada and Mexico (CONCACAF); Argentina and Brazil (CONMEBOL); New Zealand (OFC) and finally CAF representatives Ghana and Nigeria, who became the final nations to earn passage to Japan 2012 after qualifying just a fortnight ago.